New York – The UN Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) hosted on October 27 the Awards Ceremony of the PLURAL + 2016 Youth Video Festival on Migration, Diversity and Social Inclusion, celebrating the winners of this year’s video competition.

PLURAL + is a youth-produced festival that encourages young people to submit original and creative videos, recognizing youth as powerful agents of social change. During the ceremony, the young makers of this year’s four winning videos took the stage to receive their prize.

“Often, young people don’t have solid opportunities to express themselves on important and urgent matters of social, cultural and political impact,” said Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, the UNAOC High Representative. “It is with this in mind that UNAOC and IOM created this festival.”

The four winning videos were produced by young filmmakers from Italy, Slovenia and the United States. The videos all focused on the importance of inclusion—inclusion of refugees, migrants and people of all kinds.

The makers of "I Am Aliya", one of the winning videos, on stage with Mr. Alhendawi, Mr. Al-Nasser, Mr. El Nour and the evening host Victoria Pannell

The makers of “I Am Aliya”, one of the winning videos, on stage with Mr. Alhendawi, Mr. Al-Nasser, Mr. El Nour and the evening host Victoria Pannell

The young winners said they were all glad to be able to express themselves on topics that are particularly dear to them through the art of filmmaking. For some of them, the issues addressed in the videos are very personal, such as Perla Liberato’s video “The Price of Nuestros Suenos.” Her video describes the struggle young migrants sometimes face in adjusting to their new home.

“Migration and human mobility are as old as humanity itself,” said Ashraf El Nour, Director of IOM at the UN in New York. “And we all have a role to play in upholding the rights and human dignity of migrants.

[…] The mission and purpose of the PLURAL+ initiative is to celebrate the human side of migration and its contributions to enriching societies.”

One of the filmmakers of “Migration” receiving the price on behalf of his class.

The Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Ahmad Alhendawi, delivered the keynote speech at the ceremony, congratulating all the participants and winners and emphasizing the important role that initiatives such as these play in challenging negative stereotypes about young people.


“Your videos show the meaning and power of solidarity,” Alhendawi said. “This is the kind of message we need today, that migration is not a problem, but a phenomenon that needs to be managed.”

Every year, young people are invited to submit short videos addressing PLURAL+ related topics. The International Jury and PLURAL+ Partners select videos among the participating entries, providing them with awards and professional opportunities. Winning videos are distributed through a variety of platforms and networks worldwide.

This year’s competition received over 300 submissions in 40 languages from 68 countries, from young filmmakers aged 7-25. Thirty-one videos from Bangladesh, Belgium, Cameroon, Canada, France, Germany, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Malaysia, Slovenia, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, and Yemen, were selected for awards.

The ceremony took place at the Paley Center for New Media in New York City, and the evening’s host was Victoria Pannell, a 17-year-old actress and New York community activist.

To learn more about the festival, visit:

Watch the four winning videos


– “Excluded” (USA) – 9-12 age category

– “Migration” (Italy) – 13-17 age category

– “The Price of Nuestros Suenos (USA) – 13-17 age category

– “I Am Aliya” (Slovenia)