Envision is a collaboration of between Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP) and the United Nations Department of Public Information. The goal of this day long event is to unit the filmmaking community with the UN, civil society organizations, entrepreneurs, activists, journalists, economists, public policy makers and NGOs to address global issues through the international shared language of filmed documentaries. I attended the event last May and it was really terrific. It's a huge bummer that the UN doesn't offer filmmakers any sort of grant or other funding opportunities but they do offer the possibility of other resources and I also saw a couple of great films with panels (The Glass House!!) and Jonathan Demme made an interesting guest appearance to speak about his documentary work in Haiti (The Agronomist).
This year's Envision: addressing global issues through documentaries will be hosting about 5 panels. One that stands out is entitled Telling Their Own Stories - The Individual as Documentarian and the Impact of User Generated Media. An idea growing in popularity with a number of NGOs who are now sponsoring programs around the idea of giving community members around the world cameras to tell their own stories. UNICEF and WITNESS representatives are among a handful of impressive panelists of this session.
Envision will be held July 10th at TimesCenter in Manhattan.