13.06.2017 - UNESCO Venice Office

Young filmmakers receive special recognition for their short film against social exclusion: Bikes and Bullies

CIAK Junior 2017

The 28th edition of the international youth film festival CIAK Junior took place on 26-27 May 2017 in Lido di Jesolo, Italy. The event involved the screening of 8 competing movies from 6 different countries, as well as the presentation of awards by an international jury. The UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, Venice (Italy), gave a special recognition to the Italian contribution “Bikes and Bullies” for best representing UNESCO’s values.

In the adoption and promotion of UNESCO’s values, youth plays a crucial role. It is upon young people’s hearts and minds that any value-based approach to shaping a better future is built. Only if their concerns and viewpoints are given the necessary attention, can the young foster a proactive attitude of engagement that is aligned with current realities.

Since 2001, the UNESCO Regional Bureau in Venice supports CIAK Junior as an opportunity for youth to get involved and be heard in the public sphere. In this project, children from around the world aged 10 to 16, are given the opportunity to turn their own movie ideas in professionally produced short films. The films are then distributed among participating television networks for public screening. Over the years, CIAK Junior has offered thousands of students a stage to tell their stories and share their creative outlook.

The many perspectives brought by its young participants give rise to films that span a wide array of topics. This year, they range from the personal immediacy of falling in love to the question of how to provide dignified employment to people of all backgrounds. These movies consistently show that students appeal to the values of respect, tolerance and friendship when looking for solutions to their concerns. 

Exemplifying this way of thinking is “Cake”, the contribution from China that won the prize for the best movie. With a plot built around a hard-working father and his deeply grateful daughter, the film transmits a powerful message that our personal relationships can help us handle hardship.

Reflecting UNESCO’s values even more poignantly was the Italian film “Bikes and Bullies”, originally titled “Biciclette e Bulloni”. It tells the story of how a serene student sparks dramatic change in his classmates by staying true to his values. The protagonist demonstrates that the perseverance of virtue can set an inspiring example against social exclusion and hatred. “Bikes and Bullies” affirms the transformative power of good actions rooted in deeply held values. For all this, the UNESCO Regional Bureau in Venice awarded it a special recognition.

This year, once again, CIAK Junior demonstrates that youth creativity goes hand in hand with a keen sense of the pressing issues that our society is facing. Movies not only offer entertainment, but also give hope for a future in which youth huge potential can be fulfilled.

Link: https://www.alcuni.it/index.php?festival




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