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UNICEF NZ Premieres The Revolutionary Optimists

UNICEF NZ Premieres The Revolutionary Optimists at the NZ International Documentary Edge Film Festival

UNICEF NZ is bringing inspirational documentary The Revolutionary Optimists to the 2014 International Documentary Edge Festival – the first time the film has been screened in New Zealand. It will be shown in Auckland and Wellington, beginning with a special opening night fundraising event on Sunday, 25 May at Auckland’s Q Theatre (details on screening times below).

A percentage of ticket sales from the premiere screening will help children like those featured in the film to survive and thrive, including preventing child labour. Audiences at the NZ screenings will also be treated to a special message from stars of the documentary prior to the main event.

The Revolutionary Optimists follows the lives of four children in Kolkata (India) who are part of a community development project run by a UNICEF supported non-profit called Prayasam. The documentary focuses on two 11-year olds without access to clean drinking water, a girl forced to labour inside a brick kiln, and a teenage dancer on the precipice of choosing child marriage to escape from her abusive family.

Together with Prayasam founder and leader, Amlan Ganguly, they fight seemingly insurmountable odds to build a better future for themselves and their communities, challenging the notion that change can only be initiated by adults.

Sarah Morris, International Advocacy Manager at UNICEF NZ said, “This film is a powerful example of the impact and meaningful contribution children can make to their communities and environments. You’ll leave the theatre in awe at what kids can achieve if given the chance.

“The film also demonstrates the untapped potential children possess and reinforces UNICEF’s belief that they should be consulted on issues that directly affect them.

“The film presents a snapshot of many UNICEF related themes including child labour, child marriage, access to healthcare and WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene), the right to an identity and the right to participate. Illustrating these themes was the main reason that we decided to work with the documentary’s directors, Nicole Newnham and Maren Grainger-Monsento, in order to bring the documentary to New Zealand,” added Ms Morris.

To achieve the changes they envisioned, the young people used a tool called Map Your World to map their community and identify issues of concern such as access to water pumps, education and vaccinations.

“Inspired by the film, Map Your World has been further developed into a multi-platform project that puts the power of new technologies into the hands of young change agents, enabling them to map, track, and improve the health of their own communities – and then share their stories of change with each other and with the world. The Map Your World tool has been adapted for New Zealand and can be implemented using high-tech and low-tech principles,” Ms Morris concluded.

The Revolutionary Optimists Screening Times

Auckland Screening Times, Q Theatre
Tickets available here: http://www.qtheatre.co.nz/revolutionary-optimists
• Sunday, 25 May - 6.30pm (NZ premiere and UNICEF fundraiser $25/$20 concession with $8 from each ticket going to UNICEF - includes complimentary glass of wine)
• Friday, 30 May - 2.00pm (school screening)
• Monday, 2 June - 12.15pm (general screening)

Wellington Screening Times, Roxy Cinema
Tickets available here: http://www.roxycinema.co.nz/movies/8592.php
• Friday, 6 June - 12.30pm (general screening)
• Tuesday, 10 June - 3.00pm (school screening)
• Thursday, 12 June - 5.45pm (general screening)

More information and the trailer for The Revolutionary Optimists can be found here: https://www.unicef.org.nz/RevolutionaryOptimists

-Ends-

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