International Film Festival raises awareness about the global development issues

Mar 18, 2016

The Millenium International Documentary Film Festival, which starts in Brussels today, will raise awareness about global development issues through powerful documentaries from all over the world.

Supported by the UN Agencies – the United Nations Development Programme, UN Women, the Food and Agriculture Organization, the UN Human Rights Office and the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction – the Festival aims to promote the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which will guide global development for the next fifteen years for a more peaceful and prosperous, and sustainable future.

“This Film Festival has become an annual international event which screens documentaries portraying the world in all its complexity”, said Barbara Pesce-Monteiro, Director of UN and UNDP Representation Office in Brussels. “We hope this edition will contribute to a better understanding of the global issues and generate a debate on how we can together achieve a world where no one is left behind”.

Over 800 documentaries have been submitted for the 2016 edition of the Festival. Best documentaries will be awarded in the following categories: Best Film, Sustainable Development Award, Human Rights Award, along with the Special Award of the Jury, the Audience Award and the La Trois Award.

These will be screened in various cinemas across the city of Brussels followed by debates with the participation of UN experts on themes related to gender equality and women’s empowerment, urbanization, human rights, and building resilience against disasters.

UNDP will be part of a debate on development and urbanization after the screening of the documentary “The Land of Many Palaces” on Saturday, 19 March, at 14:00, at Cinema Galeries.

“Documentary films have the power to present the issues through real life stories and images”, said Zlatina Rousseva, Artistic Director of the Millenium International Documentary Film Festival. “This is why our Festival represents a platform where people can get inspired and united around a common goal: a better world for all of us."

The Millenium International Documentary Film Festival was created in 2008 and had its first edition in 2009. The United Nations has supported all editions of the Festival. In 2015, 12,600 people attended the festival. The UNDP’s Award for Best Development Message was given to “The Chinese Mayor”, a documentary on the attempt of Datong’s mayor to return the city to its former glory.

Festival website:


Tickets and reservations:

Contact information

Ludmila Tiganu, Communications Specialist, UN/UNDP Representation Office Brussels, Tel.: +32 2 213 82 96

Félicie Crijns, Project Assistant, Millenium Film Festival, Tel.: +32 483 021435

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