United Nations General Assembly’s “Waynak” Screening + makesense Discussions

For Global Goals Week, dialogue around migration and future climate refugees

Be it striving for sustainable urban development or empowering ocean conversationalists, Global Goals Week accompanies the United Nations General Assembly once a year—and aims to accelerate developmental goals across the planet. This year’s roster of events sees three spearheaded by France-based non-profit makesense—and their centerpiece experience is one to seek out. Vincent Hejduk, co-founder of the non-profit and film producer, will screen his short documentary “Waynak” before a conversation with Nobel Peace Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus. As the film addresses the refugee crisis, the dialogue will hone in on future climate refugees.

“After working for years with makesense on migration topics and helping the scale of solutions built by social entrepreneurs,” Hejduk explains, “producing, directing and releasing Waynak with What Took You So Long was a pretext to make a wider range of people understand how to take action on the refugee crisis in Europe.” Hejduk and makesense seek to change the  narrative being cast by highlighting stories of social entrepreneurs co-building solutions along with refugees for long-haul integration.

They simply did not see these in the media—and began to find them and share them, while enabling audience interaction immediately after screenings. That’s makesense: “a platform where people can discover content, find events in the cities where Waynak is screened, support local organizations and use a toolkit we’ve organized to host a screening in their home city.” The United Nations has done exactly that.

But they aren’t the first. “Around the globe, people have organized more than 60 screenings in 30 countries,” Hejduk says. “Each screening was followed by creativity workshops for local organizations in order to make the audience directly support these organization with their time and skills. Eventually, they had an unexpected cinematic premiere at the Doc Corner of the Cannes Film Festival—without applying. They were requested by the festival’s former head of market industry, who chanced about the film during a community screening in Paris.

“As we are not coming from the media world, we didn’t believe it at the beginning,” Hejduk says of their presence at the prestigious festival. “We are thankful to our community because it would not have happened without them.” More importantly, he notes, “The joy was not about the content being at Cannes, it was about having the voices and actions of thousands of people being heard and represented there that made us proud.”

For Global Goals Week, makesense came to participate thanks to The Video Consortium and, of course, Professor Yunus. “All social and environmental challenges we are facing,” Hejduk continues, “have been put, by the UN, into a framework of 17 objectives we need to address by 2030. To make it happen, we need to have everyone onboard, from big NGOs, Head of States, CEOs of big corporations and social business entrepreneurs and civil society.”

Images courtesy of makesense