The 14th annual International Youth Media Summit (IYMS) concluded its conference today, August 8, 2019, screening films that its participants produced over the last 14 days on seven major global issues (Health, Poverty, Youth Involvement, Violence, Discrimination, Environment, Women’s Rights).

All filming was done in Pokhara, Nepal, with seminars and workshops held at Mt Kailash Resort. These films, along with Workshop Guides, created by the 70 young filmmakers (ages 14 to 24) from 30 nations, will be shown to more than one million young people in schools, colleges, libraries and community centers around the world.

“If you want to improve the world, you have to be the media, learn the language and use it,“ said Chairman of the IYMS Advisory Board, Birgitta Olsson. “We have gone back home every year with so much joy and energy from all the delegates, that we believe that we can shape our future in a better way,”

“This year we are especially happy to be able to say that we’re closer than ever to becoming a fully youth-led event, which was always our major goal,” said Antonio Britvar, Chairman of the Youth Committee. He announced that the 2020 Summit will be held in his home country of Croatia. “This year, we were welcomed to the City of Lakes (Pokhara), and next year – welcome to the City of Four Rivers and a Country of a Thousand Islands!”

IYMS embarked on a new endeavor this year. For two years it has been developing the IYMS Short Films Division to produce films that can be sent to film festivals across the globe. The rough-cut of the first film, “Pari of Pokhara,” directed by past IYMS participant, Babar Ali and his team was screened, addressing the issue of human trafficking and the 2015 Nepal earthquake.

“When the Summit was held in Katmandu in 2016 we were delighted to bring the news that Nepal was ready and open for tourists after the devastating 2015 earthquake,” said IYMS President Evelyn Seubert. “This year’s summit, we are proud to be part of the Visit Nepal 2020 campaign, thanks in large part to IYMS’s Executive Director Sapan Hamal.” Sapan Hamal, IYMS Executive Director asked that all delegates “go back to their home countries and show the videos to everyone.” He introduced, Mr. Kasi Raj Bhandari, Director of the Nepal Tourism Board, Pokhara, one of the event’s sponsors.

“I am mesmerized by the energy in this room,” Mr. Bhandari told the audience. “And you are helping us promote our country and get more visitors,” he noted, thanking everyone for their help in promoting Visit Nepal 2020.

Ms. Jane E. Lawson, Peace and Disarmament Education Coordinator for the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific (UNRCPD) praised the participants for their work. She told them, that “the partnership with UNRCPD will culminate on International Youth Day, on August 12, when these seven films will be presented and discussed in various schools around Kathmandu in support of the implementation of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals”

Other organizations that supported the Summit include the Film Development Board of Nepal, Nepal Tourism Board Visit Year 2020, as well as several United Nations organizations such as UNICEF, UNDP, UNFPA, UNRCPD, UNESCO, and UN Women.

IYMS is an annual two-week event where delegates meet for the opportunity to work beyond borders. The delegates collaborate on media projects and motivate one another to take action and responsibility to ensure their generation can shape the world.

Delegates at the 2019 IMYS conference come from Afghanistan, Australia, Croatia, Egypt, Hong Kong, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mexico, Myanmar, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Sri Lanka, Sweden, United Arab Emirates, and the United States of America.