The United Nations Association Film Festival (UNAFF) presents its Opening Night for its 25th anniversary on Thursday, October 20, at the Mitchell Park Community Center in Palo Alto, kicking off with a welcome by Palo Alto Mayor Patrick Burt and the PROCLAMATION for UNAFF’s 25th Anniversary.
Three films screen on Opening Night, beginning with MALDITA. A LOVE SONG TO SARAJEVO, a poetic portrait of unique Balkan artist Božo Vrećo. Also screening is the inspiring ORCHESTRATING CHANGE, the story of Me2/Orchestra, changing the lives of musicians and audiences with mental illness, with the film’s Directors/Producers Margie Friedman and Barbara Multer-Wellin in person for Q&A. Rounding out Opening Night is the Oscar-nominated WRITING WITH FIRE, a look at India’s only newspaper run by Dalit women journalists.
“This year’s theme REFLECTIONS continues UNAFF’s enduring devotion to the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, emphasizing the 25th Anniversary milestone and creating an opportunity to reflect on the ways UNAFF, our society, and the world have changed over the last quarter century,” said UNAFF Founder and Executive Director Jasmina Bojic.
THURSDAY, October 20th Palo Alto: Mitchell Park Community Center, 3700 Middlefield Road Session 1
5:30 PM Opening Night Reception – sponsored by Flea Street and Judy’s Breadsticks, music by POTENTIAL Jazz Ensemble
6:00 PM Opening words by Palo Alto Mayor Patrick Burt
Neither the weight of weapons, nor the ravages of history, nor the envy of those who want a “pure” world have managed to put an end to Sarajevo, which today resurfaces with more force than ever. In this film, Božo Vrećo, the most revolutionary of Balkan artists, perfectly embodies the soul of the “innocent city,” and with his unapologetic attitude, he builds bridges between past and present, between men and women, between origins and regions. This film is an ode to life and to the love story between two cities, Sarajevo and Barcelona, who knew how to find each other in difficult times and never have to say goodbye again.
Orchestrating Change tells the inspiring story of Me2/Orchestra, the only orchestra in the world created by and for people living with mental illness and those who support them. The orchestra’s mission is to erase the stigmatization of people living with mental illness through the creation of beautiful music, community, compassion, and understanding… one concert at a time. Most importantly, it is changing the lives of the musicians and audiences in ways they never imagined. With compelling characters, striking animation, and humor, this film addresses many of the myths about mental illness by showing what living with a mental illness is really like, including both setbacks and accomplishments.
This Academy Award-nominated film tells the story of courageous Indian women journalists. In the cluttered news landscape dominated by men emerges India’s only newspaper run by Dalit women. Armed with smartphones, Chief Reporter Meera and her journalists break traditions, both on the frontlines of India’s biggest issues and within the confines of their homes, redefining what it means to be powerful.
FRIDAY, October 21st Palo Alto: Mitchell Park Community Center, 3700 Middlefield Road Session 2
We hope to see you this week and during the rest of the 25th UNAFF to experience our 60 film screenings, 6 panels, awards ceremony, and closing night reception. Keep up to date by checking out our full program.
October 20-30, 2022
Palo Alto, East Palo Alto, San Francisco, Stanford University