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Press release: Winners of the Generation Equality Film Festival

Mexico City, 30 March 2021

Young filmmakers encourage awareness and action on gender equality as part of the Generation Equality Forum in Mexico City

Mexico City, Tuesday 30 March: The winners of the Generation Equality Film festival were announced today in Mexico City at a ceremony hosted by Laura Garcia Arroyo, TV communicator and featuring UN Women Executive Director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka; Lopa Banerjee, Executive Coordinator of the Generation Equality Forum, UN Women; Ana Souza, from Sundance Film Festival; and Lucia Gajá, Mexican filmmaker. The event forms part of the Generation Equality Forum Mexico, a global convening for gender equality being held this week.  The event was followed by a conversation between the awardees and jury members on the use of arts to achieve gender equality.

The Generation Equality Forum aims to put youth at the center, and the Generation Equality Film Festival is one of the main activities targeting new activists and artists in the fight for gender equality. Earlier this year, the Film Festival launched a call for submissions inviting young people under 30 years-old to share their creative work, with the aim to inspire hearts and minds and spark solidarity among gender equality advocates. The Film Festival received a total of 558 films from all regions of the world representing fiction, documentary, experimental videos and animation. The entrants reflected the creative spirit of youth activism: diverse, inclusive and bold.

A high-level jury reviewed the 10 finalists and selected three winners, each of whom will receive a cash prize of 1,000 USD to advance their creative efforts in gender justice advocacy. The winners are:

Hail Mary, by Edlyn Castellanos (Mexico)

Tishala, Nothing to Lose, by Brian Wachira (Kenya)

Ode to the Girl Child, by Anna Samokhina (Uzbekistan)

Special mention to Lullaby, by Elham Khazaei (Iran)

The films depict in a powerful and profound way the importance of ending all discrimination against women and girls. Topics include female genital mutilation, and fight against stereotypes and social norms. The films speak about the power of women’s choices and of equality and the need for female solidarity.

One of the winners, Edlyn Castellanos, reflected on what the award meant for her: “This award represents for me a platform to give voice to the feelings, thoughts and concerns that we, as women, have”.

The Mexican director and member of the jury Lucia Gaja, highlighted the value of the winning shorts “The forcefulness in which they manage to communicate, in just a couple of minutes, the systematic violence that girls and women face every day in our planet, appeal to the urgency to work together towards a life free of violence. ”

The ten short films finalists are available to watch on YouTube in English and Spanish until 15 of April and through the streaming platform FilminLatino, of the National Institute of Cinematography (Imcine), as part of the joint collaboration between the Ministry of Culture of the Mexico Government and UN Women, as part of the Generation Equality Forum. The programming can be seen for free from March 30 to April 15, through FilminLatino: filminlatino.mx.

The Film Festival at the Generation Equality Forum was honored to have a high-level jury with personalities from the film industry: Aicha Thiam, Film director; Ana Souza, Manager Programming Department Sundance Film Festival; Cecilia Suarez, Actress and Spotlight Global Advocate; Freida Lee Mock, Academy Award winner Director; Natalia De Molina, actress; Lucia Gaja, Film director; and Regina Lepping and Georgianna Lepping, filmmakers.