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UNIS/INF/519
27 November 2015

'Our heroes of today'

Winners of this year's Student Art and Short Film Competition on Human Rights receive awards

VIENNA, 27 November 2015 (UN Information Service) - Students from Slovakia, Slovenia and Austria are the winners of this year's Student Art and Short Film Competition on Human Rights, in which young people between the ages of 10 and 20 portrayed their heroes of today. The prizes were awarded during a ceremony and film screening on Thursday.

This is the seventh time the competition was held. Students from four countries, Austria, Hungary, Slovakia and Slovenia were invited to produce short films. For the first time, students also had the opportunity to submit other art forms such as photographs, collages, drawings and paintings.

The organizers identify a theme every year for the competition, and this year students were invited to send their short films, which should not be longer than three minutes, and their artwork on heroes of today.

"Today we live in turbulent, tense and troubling times. This is also reflected in the works submitted to the jury this year. Young people are very much aware of the turbulence and tension we are experiencing. The message they convey through their work should be an imperative to all of us: tolerance and respect for fundamental freedoms and human rights have never been so important," UNIS Director Martin Nesirky said at the ceremony in Vienna's Topkino cinema.

"It is a great pleasure that also this year the This Human World school project has sparked so much interest," Lisa Wegenstein of "this human world" film festival said in her remarks. "Almost 600 students from Austria, Hungary, Slovenia and Slovakia registered themselves for the competition and we finally received more than 90 short films. And for the first time in the history of the competition, we asked students to submit other art forms as well." She also highlighted the importance of "the cinematic and artistic input of the young people", which she said "is a great enrichment of the Austrian film festival- this human world."

According to Ruth Schöffl of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Austria, "the winning works impressively demonstrate which difference every single member of society can make in upholding humanitarian values. Especially in times with hundreds of thousands of refugees arriving on our doorstep, it is encouraging to see how many young people are getting involved and speaking out for those in need."

The first prize was awarded by the Human Rights Commissioner of the City of Vienna, Shams Asadi. In her speech she highlighted that "during adolescence, a sense for the 'culture' of human rights in the society can be better developed". This way, she said, "fundamental rights can be better understood, respected, protected, and, if necessary, also defended."

The competition was launched by the Film Festival on Human Rights "this human world" with the help of the United Nations Information Service (UNIS) Vienna and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Austria, and with the support of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education and Women's Affairs and the City of Vienna. A panel composed of the organizers and film experts selected the best three short films submitted by students from Austria, Hungary, Slovakia and Slovenia.

The winners received their prizes from Shams Asadi, the Human Rights Commissioner of the City of Vienna, Alja Brinovec-Juresa, Adviser at the Permanent Mission of Slovenia, and Martin Koncal, Counsellor at the Permanent Mission of Slovakia.

The artwork will be on display in the Human Rights Office of the City of Vienna from 1 to 10 December 2015. The films can be viewed at http://www.thishumanworld.at/content.php?id=37 .

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Winners of the Short Film Competition on Human Rights 2015

1. Prize
"How to be a hero"
By Class 4AJ, Gymnazium Golianova, Slovakia

2. Prize
"Hero?!"
By Diana Dzurillová, Gymnazium D. Tatarku, Slovakia

3. Prize
"Freedom"
By Gimnazija Brežice, Slovenia

Special awards:

Music video:
"Respekt"
By Class 2a, Ökologische Hauptschule Rohrbach, Austria

Animation:
"Sofahelden"
By Evangelisches Gymnasium/Werkschulheim, Austria

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For further information please contact:

Lisa Wegenstein
THW SCHOOL PROJECT
Mobile: (+43) 676-84947066
Email: schulfilmprojekt[at]thishumanworld.com

or

Irene Hoeglinger-Neiva
Public Information Officer, UNIS Vienna
Telephone: (+43-1) 26060-4448
Mobile: (+43) 699-1459-4448
Email: irene.hoeglinger-neiva[at]unvienna.org