United Nations Enable Film Festival (UNEFF)
Around the world, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities is commemorated on 3 December. The objective of the annual observance of the Day is to promote a better understanding of disability issues and help mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities. The Day also seeks to increase awareness of gains to be derived from the integration of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.
On 3 December 2009, the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) brought together a selection of short films that were screened at UN Headquarters as a part of the commemorative activities of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. In the following year, DESA held the second disability film festival on 3 December 2010 at UN Headquarters, and the tradition continues.
Films are selected by an in-house Committee on the basis of their content and message that can help raise awareness of disability issues and further promote the full and effective participation of persons with disabilities in society. Disability-related films are selected against a number of criteria, for example, if they highlight an emerging or overlooked disability issue; present a disability perspective in a larger societal context; have won film awards at global, regional or national levels; are gender inclusive; present diverse geographic and regional settings; or present the diversity of disability.
Governments in collaboration with producers and other stakeholders, are encouraged to sponsor films in their national contexts for screening at the United Nations Enable Film Festival (UNEFF) as a show of support for the UN disability agenda and related issues. The extent of support would be decided by the Government, which could include providing the film to UNEFF and possibly a representative to provide a short introduction to the film. Further support may be shown by sponsoring a reception before or after the screening of the film. Additional arrangements can be discussed along with UNEFF and the Special Events Unit at UN Headquarters in New York.
Send us your films
If you think that your short film can help achieve this objective and is suitable to be presented to a diverse international audience, please send us information and a copy of the film for consideration by the United Nations Enable Film Festival (UNEFF) Committee and possible inclusion in the next film festival. Deadline: 20 November, each year. (Mailing address: UNEFF, S-2014, United Nations, New York, NY 10017, USA)
Films submitted should be short in length; however, occassionally feature length films are also accepted. All submitted films should be accessible and include English subtitles. Currently, there are no facilities or services available to provide Audio Descriptions; however, we encourage films submitted to be descriptive, to the greatest extent possible.
Previous film festivals
Lives Worth Living (US)
Anything you can do (Australia)
Difference is Normal (Brazil)
Young Voices: Identity (India); Participation (Uganda); Determination (Guyana)
Between Hearing and Not Hearing (Hong Kong)
Accessibility/The Job - Handisam (Sweden)
Mundo Alas (Magoya Films)
Young Voices (Leonard Cheshire Disability)
My Dream (China Disabled People's Performing Art Troupe)
Vancouver 2010 IPC Winter Paralympic Games (International Paralympic Committee)
Motion Disabled (Simon Mckeown)
Stepping into the Unknown (HEARD-DHAT Co-operation Documentary)