The Independent Feature Project (IFP), one of the largest filmmaker membership organizations in the United States, is joining forces with the United Nations Department of Public Information to present a one-day conference on the effect of documentaries as a tool to understanding world problems. The second annual “Envision: Addressing Global Issues through Documentaries” forum will be held on Saturday July 10th at TheTimesCenter, in New York City.
This jointly produced event combines film presentations with substantive, live-audience discussions on pressing global issues. The UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) serve as the focal point for presentations, screenings, panel discussions and social networking. The Spotlight Focus for Envision in 2010 will be exploring creative solutions to our global education crisis, specifically focusing on the UN’s Millennium Development Goal of achieving universal primary education.
Leaders from the international filmmaking community, prominent UN representatives, entrepreneurs, activists, journalists, economists, public policy makers, and NGOs will be among the high profile attendees of the one-day event.
Envision will present two exciting new documentaries exploring education. From Academy-Award® winning director Davis Guggenheim, the highly anticipated WAITING FOR “SUPERMAN“, which has ignited tremendous interest and debate on how best to improve the US school system. It will be followed by a panel discussion entitled, “Public Education: Re-examining the Old Model and Probing the New.“
Another anticipated screening is of Jennifer Arnolds’s A SMALL ACT, which follows Chris Mburu, a Kenyan boy whose life was dramatically changed when an anonymous Swedish woman sponsored his education. Now a Harvard-educated human-rights lawyer and head of the anti-discrimination section of the UN Human Rights Agency in Geneva, Mburu founded his own scholarship fund to aid a new generation. After the screening speakers will explore “Education Obstacles & Solutions in Africa – The Power of One.”
A third element of the program is a series of user-generated videos about education conditions around the globe from human rights organizations Witness, World Without Walls, Video Volunteers,UNICEF and Breakthrough. The short videos will be integrated into a panel discussion called “Telling Their Own Stories: The Impact of User-Generated Media and the Individual as Documentarian.”
“Envision will once again offer a unique opportunity for the international filmmaking and humanitarian communities to grapple with some of the most urgent social issues of our time,” said Kiyo Akasaka, Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information.