A education partnership with the United Nations and the International Organization for Migration debuted at HIFF 2015 and continues in local schools.
For the 2nd year in a row at the October Festival, HIFF will host middle and high school students from all across the East End for a program addressing issues of human rights, empathy, and migrant integration. The students will view films made by children and young adults from all over the world, chosen in conjunction with the PLURAL+ Youth Video Festival, a joint venture of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) and the International Organization for Migration. The high school program will include a panel discussion with these young international filmmakers and United Nations representatives.
The approximately 25 films, which are a maximum of 5 minutes in length and in any language with English subtitles, are selected annually from a pool of 200 submissions by an international jury.
The students at East Hampton Middle School were so inspired by last year’s edition of this program that sixty students and their teachers worked both during and after school to make their own films about migration, diversity and acceptance, in a filmmaking section integrated into the 7th grade curriculum.
This new initiative continues HIFF’s longstanding commitment to bringing a broad selection of film to young audiences. HIFF began advocating for local youth’s participation in the festival from the start; over HIFF’s 23-year history, this vital connection, mainly driven by educator and HIFF board of directors member Linda Biscardi Fuller, has reached thousands of students.
“We are delighted to expand our ongoing local student initiatives through our partnership with the UNAOC and IOM. It is part of our mission to enlighten our audiences with issues happening both worldwide and within our own backyards,” said HIFF Executive Director Anne Chaisson. “The art of film has always been a catalyst in change for a better world and understanding the human condition, and these films provide the basis for open discussion, plus informative curricula for the classroom.”