UNICEF Russia celebrates 60th Anniversary with children at Human Rights Film Festival
UNICEF’s birthday was ‘Cinema on Guard for Children’s Rights Day’ at the Stalker Film Festival, Moscow, this year.
On 11 December, more than two thousand visitors to the Moscow House of Cinema enjoyed a full programme of films about children, including the celebrated ‘All the Invisible Children’ produced by eight world-renowned film directors and first screened at 62nd Venice Biennale Film Festival.
UNICEF Representative in the Russian Federation, Carel de Rooy, addressed the opening ceremony saying “Among the milestones during the 60 years of UNICEF’s work I would like to mention the Nobel Prize for Peace awarded to UNICEF in 1965, the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the first-ever World Summit for Children in 1990.” He went on to talk about another major UNICEF event which took place this year in Russia, the historic participation of eight children in the G8 summit. For the first time in the summit’s history, children met with the eight G8 leaders for a substantive discussion in St Petersburg.
UNICEF awarded prizes to the best three films made by young filmmakers from a total of over 130 films.
Katya Orlova, a young film director from an orphanage in Yaroslavl received a prize for a film called ‘Arsenal of Hope’. At the award ceremony Katya said: “A child in an orphanage does not have a mother, but has a dream. When we were discussing our film we thought that this dream is the most important thing for us and we made a film about this.”
"We are tired of war. We want to live under a bright peaceful sky." - Amina Khaskhanova, photographer
The visitors to the film festival also enjoyed two photography exhibitions prepared by UNICEF and the children of Chechnya. The 60th Anniversary Timeline illustrating UNICEF’s history and main achievements was on display in the Foyer together with the ‘Chechnya through the eyes of Children” exhibition.
The “Chechnya through the eyes of Children” exhibition was composed of pictures taken by 10 Chechen children trained in photography by UNICEF, with European Community support. The photographs reflect life in Chechnya as children see it. Carel de Rooy and Paul Vandoren, Deputy Head of the European Commission Delegation to Russia, and two young photographers from Grozny, Magomed Bamatkiriev, age 14, and Amina Khaskhanova, age 10, participated in the official opening of the exhibition.
“Through our pictures we wanted to show the lives of people in post-war Chechnya,” said Amina Khaskhanova, “including the lives of disabled children, of those who live in Temporary Accommodation Centres and poor families.”
“At the same time we wanted to show that our home is healing its wounds to become stronger and happier,” Amina added.
Magomed Bamatkiriev, who took the striking photo showing a girl jumping high in the sky, said “This girl is a symbol of new life. I wish that all children in Chechnya smile like she smiles, carelessly and light-heartedly.”
In numerous interviews to different media, Amina Khaskhanova on behalf of Chechen children repeated again and again, “We are tired of war. We want to live under a bright peaceful sky.”
On 17 December UNICEF awarded a prize to best film made about and for children, to the film called ‘Lullabies of the World’.
The International Human Rights Film Festival ‘Stalker’ will now travel to several Russian regions, to promote ideals and values of humanity throughout the Russian Federation.