UN launches International Year of Co-operatives short film festival

Entries are now open for the International Year of Co-operatives (IYC) Short Film Festival, which will take place on 19 November 2012 at the United Nations Headquarters in...

Entries are now open for the International Year of Co-operatives (IYC) Short Film Festival from the United Nations, which will take place on 19 November 2012 at the UN's Headquarters in New York during the closing ceremony of the Year. The theme of the festival is "Co-operative Enterprises Build a Better World", the same as the motto of the IYC.

The short film festival aims to raise awareness about co-operatives and the basic co-operative principles. Submitted entries should describe the nature of co-operative enterprises and their purpose.

Through the short film festival, the UN hopes to encourage support and development of co-operative enterprises by individuals and their communities. It also seeks to encourage national governments to place a stronger emphasis on co-operatives. The films submitted should highlight at least one of the 10 key messages of the International Year of Cooperatives:

• Co-operative enterprises build a better world
• Co-operative enterprises are member owned, member serving and member driven
• Co-operatives empower people
• Co-operatives improve livelihoods and strengthen the economy
• Co-operatives enable sustainable development
• Co-operatives promote rural development
• Co-operatives balance both social and economic demands
• Co-operatives promote democratic principles
• Co-operatives and gender: a pathway out of poverty
• Co-operatives: a sustainable business model for youth

Although films entered for consideration can be completed in any year, only existing co-operatives can enter the contest. Films that have streamed on US national cable television or distributed to public national theatres can also be considered. The jury composed of IYC staff will look at all the entries, but only a few will make it to the final.

The deadline for applying is 30 September and successful applicants will be notified by 15 October. The festival will consist of the seven winning short films. The winners will be invited to attend the festival and will also receive an award certificate from the United Nations.

The United Nations General Assembly has declared 2012 as the International Year of Co-operatives, marking the contribution of co-operatives to socio-economic development, in particular, their role in reducing poverty, boosting employment and promoting social integration. Co-operatives can play a major role in sustainable development.

To find our more details about the festival, visit: http://social.un.org/coopsyear/film-festival.html

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