20.06.2016 - UNESCO Venice Office

UNESCO Regional Bureau’s recognition at CIAK JUNIOR film festival goes to Israel: It’s Not Me!

©CIAK JUNIOR 2016 - “It’s Not Me” by Lahav NPO - Children’s channel

Nine short films from seven countries were in competition at the 27th edition of CIAK JUNIOR International Film Festival held in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, from 27-28 May 2016. Over the years, the festival has reached thousands of children from around the world contributing to a culture of peace and sustainable development. This year, the winner of UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe’s special recognition is the short film presented by teens from Israel, “It’s Not Me!”.

Over more than two decades, the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe,  Venice (Italy), has been a supporter of the CIAK JUNIOR festival, along with television partners from 25 countries around the world. For UNESCO, young people are essential actors in finding solutions to the issues faced by the world today and its Youth Programme, in particular, works to create an enabling environment in which this goal can be achieved, by bringing youth voices to the fore and encouraging young people to come together to take action.

On 27 May, the UNESCO Regional Bureau joined the members of the International Jury to review the films competing in this year’s festival. China with ‘The Steps’ won the award for Best Film and Israel “It’s Not Me” the award for Best Subject, as well as a special recognition assigned by the Bureau to the film which best expressed the mission and mandate of the Organization.

The story of “It’s Not Me” (original title ‘Telephone Shavur’), produced by Lahav NPO - Children’s channel, reminds that of the Italian cartoon Calimero. Like the unlucky black chick with half of his egg shell still on his head, Alex the protagonist gets blamed for everything that goes wrong. He seems to be responsible for many unhappy events in the Community centre where the film is located, notwithstanding his denying it: “It’s not me. They just blame me and always pick on me.”  Alex runs the risk of being kicked out of the centre for good as Hila, the group’s self-anointed “Queen”, takes advantage of his weak position to influence the rest of the group in an attempt to incriminate him with something she was guilty of. Alex takes the blame on himself to protect another boy and the rest of the group from further degradation. The group ends up taking sides with Alex, thereby exposing his innocence and reuniting in reconciliation.

This short film tackles the principles of moral responsibility and accountability, condemning discrimination and dishonesty. The film reflects the need for tolerance and mutual respect, the basic values of a more equitable and peaceful society, to which UNESCO is committed by all means. “Tolerance is harmony in difference. It is not only a moral duty, it is also a political and legal requirement. Tolerance, the virtue that makes peace possible, contributes to the replacement of the culture of war by a culture of peace. “(UNESCO Constitution 1955)

With this recognition, the UNESCO Regional Bureau highlights the potential of creativity and cultural diversity in line with the guiding principles set forth by the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (2005). In today’s interconnected world, culture’s power to transform societies is clear and its diverse manifestations - from our historic monuments to traditional practices and contemporary art forms - enrich our everyday lives in countless ways. Creativity contributes to building open, inclusive and pluralistic societies - where tolerance and dialogue underline human relationships. “Creativity can change the world. This is our ultimate renewable energy", stated Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Convention celebrated last year.

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Since 2001, the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, Venice (Italy), has collaborated with Gruppo Alcuni to support CIAK Junior - Cinema made by Children, a film festival that offers a creative approach to shaping future generations (school age) of actors, screenwriters and directors. It aims at increasing public awareness of the educational role of cinema and at encouraging youth creativity and the expression of cultural diversity as a means for dialogue and improved mutual understanding.

Watch the Video: It’s Not Me! [15:49]

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