Abu Dhabi, 18 February 2020 – ‘Soufra’, a documentary about the world’s most unlikely entrepreneur living in a Syrian refugee camp took the Grand Prize Best Feature Film at the UN-Habitat Better Cities Festival held at the Tenth Session of World Urban Forum.

The Grand Prize Best Short Film award went to Briançon, a documentary about an historic French town that tackles issues of preservation of urban life and architectural heritage.

“First+Main Films launched Better Cities Film Festival, because we believe in the power of storytelling to inspire and empower cities and communities. We are proud to partner with UN-Habitat in order to bring the festival to the world’s leading conference on cities,” said Dr. Chris Elisara, co-founder of First+Main Films.

“The inaugural UN-Habitat Better Cities Film Festival at WUF10 has been an immense success, best exemplified by the awarding best short & feature film to Soufra and Briançon,”  said Victor Kisob, UN-Habitat Deputy Executive Director.

“We are proud of these films as well as the other festival award winners, and we forsee the tremendous ripple effects these films will have through showcasing their solutions through this new media partnership and platform.”

Film entries were judged by a panel of esteemed urbanists, architects and filmmakers. In addition to the Grand Prize winners, UN-Habitat Better Cities Awards were given to the following best in category films: Better Environment - Detroit Hives; Better Planning & Design - City Dreamers; Better Transport – Cycologic; Better Communities – Soufra; Better Economies For All - Eastpoint Project; Better Technology & Innovation - Pushing Zero.

After WUF10, First+Main Films will extend the impact of the festival by enabling cities around the world to host their own UN-Habitat Better Cities Film Festival or “Best of Fest” screening of the top award-wining films from the 10th World Urban Forum. “Better Cities Film Festival will work with host cities around the world, enabling communities everywhere to screen these stories and inspire conversation and change in their hometowns,” said John Paget, co-founding partner of First+Main Films.

The sharing of ideas through story telling is an important element of tackling challenges in our cities. The power of media can be harnessed for good. We encourage you to bring your community together for a screening and connect with stories from across the world. Find out how to host a screening here: http://bettercitiesfilmfestival.com/host/