The 23rd UNAFF will be held online from October 15-25, 2020. This year’s theme THE POWER OF EMPATHY continues our more than two decades long celebration of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, emphasizing our readiness to care about other people’s emotional experiences.
As one of the oldest solely documentary film festivals in the US, UNAFF has grown and earned the respect of audiences and filmmakers alike for its fearless independence and integrity. In addition to providing early outlets for films, many of which later went on to win major awards and accolades, UNAFF prides itself in creating a community forum with year-round programs for discovery and dialogue about different cultures, issues and solutions..
Over the years UNAFF has screened some of the most awarded and talked about documentaries in the industry, including seven that went on to win Academy Awards and thirty that were nominated.
Last year UNAFF jurors reviewed almost 700 submissions. The final program consisted of 60 films from all over the world. To complement the screenings UNAFF partnered with community organizations for six panels on topics such as climate change, the impact of social media and arts, universal primary education, gender equality, hate crime and LGBT issues, philanthropy and social change and the passion for producing human rights documentaries. UNAFF gives six awards - UNAFF Grand Jury Award for Best Documentary, UNAFF Grand Jury Award for Best Short Documentary, UNAFF Youth Vision Award, UNAFF Award for Cinematography, UNAFF Award for Editing and UNAFF Vision Award. UNAFF has received praise from academic, civic and community leaders for using the documentary film format to give voice to people who would otherwise go unheard, to highlight vastly different life experiences, and to awaken new understanding of major political, cultural and environmental issues.