60 films in 11 days that is what the 24th annual United Nations Association Film Festival will be presenting next month.
Entitled, “Moving Forward,” the UNAFF coordinators and staff expressed excitement to get the word out early.“I’m so thrilled,” said UNAFF founder and executive director Jasmina Bojic. “Because after more than 18 months of COVID-19 restrictions, quarantine and social distancing, we can host the festival in person.”
She noted at a press conference on September 22 that this year will be more of a celebration because, since the onset of the Coronavirus in 2020, the world has been in such tumultuous conditions.
Having a press conference, live via Zoom did provide this year’s participants the opportunity to talk about their films and to connect to one another ‘virtually’ in real time from various parts of the world, despite time-zone differences.
Bojic mentioned that this year’s UNAFF will be presenting a Visionary Award to two outstanding public figures known for their activism. The recipients are U.S. Congresswoman Barbara Lee and singer/entertainer Harry Belafonte.
As in previous years, throughout its two-decade history, Bojic has aimed to keep the film festival’s focus on the world through documentaries. Entertainment, the arts as well as the sciences are certainly included, but only in the context of documentary-storytelling.
“This year most of the entries are dealing with issues of immigration, being a refugee and rebuilding one’s life again amid extreme difficulties,” Bojic said.
Moderating the dozens of filmmakers who checked in for the hour-long press conference, Bojic obviously wanted to spend more time with each one. Each filmmaker, director, producer offers a one-of-a-kind view of our complex world, through her or his entry/submission in the film festival.
In addition to the 60 films in four venues, there will be seven panel discussion and activities sessions. “The Roxie Theater in San Francisco is among our longtime partners. There will be no parties,” said Bojic. “But we will have two receptions.”
The Visionary Award ceremony will close the festival with live music and celebration. Again as Bojic reiterated, “the opening and closing night receptions will be live, in person, and will be held outdoors in keeping with COVID-19 protocols.”
All attendees must have proof of vaccination and “everyone must wear face masks; safety during the entire event is key,” added Bojic.
The 2021 UNAFF opens on Oct. 21 and continues until Oct. 31. For tickets and more information, visit the UNAFF website