How a video can change the world

The world’s oldest annual film festival just came to an end. The 77th Venice International Film Festival was held from 2 to 12 September 2020 in the wonderful Lido di Venezia in Italy, raising awareness and promoting international cinema in all its forms as art, entertainment and as an industry. Despite the challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, UN DESA did not miss the opportunity to participate in the event and to discuss the 2030 Agenda and the way forward.

Maria Francesca Spatolisano, Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs, joined the festival and chaired one of the events under the theme “The Next Present and the Future of the Audiovisual. How a Video can Change the World”, where she stressed the great potential of the audiovisual industry to help restart our economies and help our societies recover better.

Streaming the global goals on the big screen 

“With only 10 years left before the 2030 target year, I call on all of you as professionals of the cinematographic industry to continue to shine the spotlight on the SDGs that provide a solution for the critical issues of our times,” Ms. Spatolisano said in her opening remarks.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the entertainment industry has been among the sectors hardest hit. Nevertheless, this sector is one of the most influential industries in today’s society and it has the potential to make an even more positive impact.

“One of the fundamental powers of the arts – and cinema in particular – is to educate and build awareness of people and to inspire them to rise and take action,” Ms. Spatolisano stressed, referencing the opportunities this would have for realizing the global goals and for making people aware of this transformative 2030 Agenda.

We know that over the years, many powerful documentaries and movies have captured the attention of audiences to important issues including inequalities (SDG 10), climate change (SDG 13), human rights (SDG 16) and many more.

“Documentaries such as ‘Ice on Fire’, ‘Ocean Giants’, ‘The Blue Planet’ or ‘Planet Earth’ have generated unprecedented awareness, stimulating audience engagement for information at magnitudes comparable to those achieved by conservation-focused campaigns,” she said.

Ms. Spatolisano expressed the hope that the world of cinema would partner more with the United Nations in the future, to make sure we promote the global goals and societies of inclusion, where no one is left behind. As our blueprint towards a better world, these goals deserve to inspire on the big screen. This is how a video can ultimately change the world.

Photo: Getty Images

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