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United Nations Association Film Festival at Stanford University, Palo Alto, East Palo Alto, and San Francisco

International Documentary Film Festival, October 20-30, 2016

We are delighted to announce the 19th UNAFF (United Nations Association Film Festival), which was originally conceived to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It was founded by Stanford educator and film critic Jasmina Bojic with the participation of the Stanford Film Society and the UNA Midpeninsula Chapter, a community-based nonprofit organization.

The 19th UNAFF will be held from October 20-30, 2016 in Palo Alto, Stanford University, East Palo Alto and San Francisco. This year’s theme COMPASS FOR A BETTER WORLD continues the ongoing celebration of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and focuses on various aspects of the Sustainable Development Goals.

As one of the oldest solely documentary film festivals in the US, UNAFF has grown and earned the respect of audiences and filmmakers alike for its fearless independence and integrity. In addition to providing early outlets for films, many of which later went on to win major awards and accolades, UNAFF prides itself in creating a community forum with year-round programs for discovery and dialogue about different cultures, issues and solutions.

Over the years UNAFF has screened some of the most awarded and talked about documentaries in the industry, including seven that went on to win Academy Awards and twenty-eight that were nominated.

Last year UNAFF jurors reviewed almost 600 submissions. The final program consisted of 60 films from all over the world. To complement the screenings UNAFF partnered with community organizations for eight panels on topics such as funding documentaries and non-profit organizations dealing with social change, the perils of inequality, the justice of reconciliation, the endurance of racism, acceptance vs. bullying, the quest for health, the elimination of violence against women and climate countdown.

UNAFF gives five awards - UNAFF Grand Jury Award for Best Documentary, UNAFF Grand Jury Award for Best Short Documentary, UNAFF Youth Vision Award, UNAFF Award for Cinematography and UNAFF Award for Editing.

UNAFF has won two WAVE Awards for best promotional trailer and was nominated for a CreaTVe Award. Also, MovieMaker Magazine listed UNAFF twice as one of the “Top 25 Festivals worth the Entry Fee.” Furthermore, UNAFF won the prestigious Earl W. Eames Award for innovatively combining new technologies with traditional media. As an acknowledgment of the 10th anniversary, UNAFF received the “Community Treasure Award” from Stanford University President John Hennessy for its contribution in promoting dialogue and education about different cultures and issues. For the last thirteen years the Mayor of Palo Alto has proclaimed the festival days as UNAFF Week, consistently recognizing the significance that UNAFF has for the community. Also, UNAFF received the Academy Foundation Grant for the UNAFF and Kids program and its Founder and Director received the prestigious UNESCO Fellini Medal.

Through UNAFF and Kids and UNAFF in Schools programs we have devoted our attention to the young and to the wiser among us with the UNAFF for Seniors. The UNAFF Panels program provides a platform for some of the best experts addressing challenging topics and our UNAFF Café maintains a steady supply of interesting films and informal discussions. UNAFF Archive offers a plethora of research material for students of film, politics and international relations. UNAFF With Veterans brings documentaries to veterans and their families. UNAFF Women’s Salon is a forum where women can gather informally for active discussions in a supportive and engaging environment.

Our popular UNAFF Traveling Film Festival has taken place in San Francisco, Berkeley, Monterey, Santa Cruz, Davis, Saratoga, Sonoma, Sebastopol, San Diego, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, Honolulu, Philadelphia, Chicago, Washington DC, New York, Burlington, Bellevue, Miami, La Crosse, Fryeburg, Denver, Houston, Durham at Duke University, Chapel Hill, New Haven at Yale University, Waukesha at University of Wisconsin, Boston and Cambridge at Harvard University and internationally in Paris, Venice, Belgrade, Phnom Penh and Abu Dhabi.

UNAFF is an independent project of the UNA-USA (Better World Fund), a nonprofit organization.


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