|In a scene from the UNICEF and MTV documentary 'Xpress', Brazilian hip hop artist MV Bill speaks about poverty and violence in Brazilian shantytowns, or 'favelas'.|
By Eva-Lotta Schiermeyer
NEW YORK, USA, 22 April 2008 – ‘Xpress’, the fourth video documentary co-produced by MTV Latin America and UNICEF Latin America and the Caribbean, has been announced as the recipent of a Silver Award in the education category at the World Media Festival – a global competition to be held in Hamburg, Germany on 14 May.
During the one-hour documentary, young people across Mexico, Brazil and Jamaica were given the opportunity to talk openly and honestly about core issues that affect them, including poverty and violence. ‘Xpress’ was launched at the World AIDS Day event last December and formed part of MTV’s global multimedia HIV and AIDS prevention campaign, ‘Staying Alive’.
"MTV’s ‘Staying Alive’ continues to provide young people with critical prevention messages on HIV," said Vice President of Public Affairs for MTV Networks International Georgia Arnold. "In the case of ‘Xpress’, we are able to reach key populations across Latin America and the Caribbean to engage with them and discuss what might be taboo in their communities."
Set against backdrops such as the vibrant dance hall scene in Jamaica and the slums of Brazil, young people and celebrities talk candidly about sexuality, stigma, gender roles and HIV and AIDS.
|In a scene from 'Xpress', young people are shown on the rooftop of their house in a Brazilian slum.|
“We can’t get effective HIV-prevention messages out to young people if we’re not talking about poverty, about violence, about gender roles, about issues that are at the core of young people’s sexuality and sexual behaviours,” said Senior HIV Advisor for UNICEF Latin America and the Caribbean Mark Connolly.
“‘Xpress’ gives the microphone directly to young people and they express openly and creatively about how challenging it is living in a world with HIV and social problems,” he added.
Featured celebrities, powerful messages
The documentary features celebrities such as dancehall sensation Ce’cile, reggae star Tanya Stephens and acclaimed music video director Ras Kassa, who discusses the impact that dance hall has on the Jamaican culture.
In Brazil, hip hop artist and social activist MV Bill takes a fresh look at poverty, violence and homophobia in Brazilian slums, or 'favelas'. Meanwhile, journalist and MTV Latin America personality Ilana Sod travels to Juarez in the north of Mexico to confront the ongoing violent murders of women there.
‘Xpress’ is a co-production between ‘Staying Alive’, MTV Brazil, MTV Latin America, the MTV Caribbean channel 'Tempo' and UNICEF Latin America and Caribbean. It is now available in English, Spanish and Portuguese – free to all broadcasters and content distributors worldwide.
UNICEF Latin America and Caribbean is proud that this documentary has been awarded a prize in the education category, proving the successful impact of the initiative, which aimed at informing and educating the young audience about HIV prevention in an entertaining way. ‘Xpress’ demonstrates that prevention campaigns can become powerful tools for tackling the epidemic when they take into account young people's intelligence, creativity and dreams for the future.
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