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We are delighted to announce the 15th 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 15th UNAFF will be held from October 18-28, 2012 in Palo Alto, Stanford University, East Palo Alto, San Francisco and San Jose. The theme is HUMAN DIGNITY.

We are extremely proud of our 15 years. 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 for discovery and dialogue about different cultures, issues and solutions.

In addition to bringing the best international documentaries to our audiences during the festival days each October, we have developed multiple year-round programs which engage a growing segment of our community. In addition to our popular “UNAFF Traveling Film Festival”, we have devoted our attention to the young (“UNAFF and Kids” and “UNAFF in Schools”) and to the wiser among us (“UNAFF for Seniors”). The “UNAFF Panels” program provides a platform for some of the best experts addressing challenging topics, our “UNAFF Café” maintains a steady supply of interesting films and informal discussions, while our “UNAFF Archive” offers a plethora of research material for students of film, politics and international relations.

In 2012 UNAFF jurors reviewed 670 submissions. Our final program presents seventy documentaries that will change your view of the world. To complement the screenings UNAFF partners with more than 50 community organizations for seven panels on topics such renewable energy, cyber crime and Internet freedom, interracial marriage and tolerance, looted art, wars in the name of God, torture programs and medical ethics, battle for water over oil, human trafficking and modern slavery, philanthropy and social change.

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

UNAFF celebrates the power of films dealing with human rights, environmental themes, population, migration, women’s issues, refugees, homelessness, racism, health, universal education, war and peace. UNAFF has screened some of the most awarded and talked about documentaries in the industry including five that went on to win Academy Awards (The Panama Deception, Thoth, The Blood of Yingzhou District, Freeheld and Taxi to the Dark Side) and twenty-two that were nominated (Regret to Inform, Genghis Blues, Long Night's Journey Into Day, LaLee's Kin: The Legacy of Cotton, Promises, Daughter from Danang, When Abortion Was Illegal, Twist of Faith, God Sleeps in Rwanda, War/Dance, Salim Baba, Trouble the Water, The Garden, Burma VJ, China's Unnatural Disaster - The Tears of Sichuan Province, The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers, Rabbit a la Berlin, Which Way Home, Gasland, Killing In the Name, Waste Land and The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of The Civil Rights Movement).

Encouraged by the overwhelmingly positive response from our audience and the media, we continue UNAFF year round with screenings through our Traveling Film Festival, which 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, Houston, Durham at Duke University, 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 has twice won the WAVE Awards for best promotional trailer and was nominated for a CreaTVe Award. In 2010 MovieMaker Magazine also listed UNAFF 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 nine years the Mayor of Palo Alto has proclaimed the festival days as UNAFF Week, consistently recognizing the significance that UNAFF has for the community. Most recently, UNAFF received the prestigious Academy Foundation Grant for the “UNAFF and Kids” program, which will have its fifth presentation this year.

UNAFF is an independent project of the UNA-USA, a nonprofit organization. By making a tax-deductible donation to UNAFF you will directly give a chance to tens of thousands of people to see these important films that bring us together as a diverse community. Please send your gift (check payable to UNAFF) to:

UNAFF
P.O. Box 19369
Stanford, CA 94309

or you can donate online via PayPal (send to info@unaff.org)

We hope that the variety of film programs and other related events during UNAFF 2012 and UNAFF Traveling Film Festival will present you with a truly exciting and memorable experience.

Warmest regards,

Jasmina Bojic
Founder and Executive Director
UNAFF and UNAFF Traveling Film Festivals

 



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