UNA-NY Screening the Issues

Home Is Where You Find It

Please join us for this special screening followed by
a Q+A with

Director, UNAIDS New York Office

Founder and Executive Director, BYkids



Wednesday |  June 18, 2014

6:00 - 6:30 p.m. |  Registration and Reception
6:30 - 7:30 p.m. |  Film Screening followed by Q+A
7:30 - 8:00 p.m. |  Reception

Screening begins promptly at 6:30 p.m.

Dolby 88 Screening Room
1350 Avenue of the Americas (at West 55th Street)
Lobby Level
New York, NY 10019



UNA Members: $10
UNA Student Members: FREE
Guests and Non-Members: $25

Alcides Soares is one of the 500,000 Mozambican kids who lost both parents to AIDS. Two film luminaries help this 16 year old to make a short film about his life as an AIDS orphan in Maputo, Mozambique. HOME IS WHERE YOU FIND IT, Alcides's documentary about finding family, is both intimate and inspiring.

Two renowned filmmakers, Chris Zalla (2007 Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner) and Neal Baer (Executive Producer of Law & Order: SVU), went to Maputo, Mozambique in August 2007, to help a child who had lost both parents to AIDS make a film about his life. With Chris and Neal, 16-year-old Alcides Soares learned the art of filmmaking and was able to tell his story as a boy living alone in the world. Alcides' life reflects that of an entire generation of Mozambican children over 500,000 of them having lost their parents to AIDS.

The organizations Reencontro (in Mozambique) and Venice Arts/The House is Small (in California), which help kids in document their lives through still photography, introduced Neal and Chris to Alcides and provided invaluable resources. They spent two weeks teaching Alcides the basics of filmmaking: how to use the camera and sound equipment, as well as techniques for conducting interviews, shooting scenes and computer editing.

Chris observed, "One of the greatest things about film is that it speaks the universal language of human emotions that transcend cultural boundaries." You can read more about his and Neal's time in Mozambique with Alcides from their Field Diary here.

Their work together resulted in a documentary film that reveals the courage of a boy whose faith and ingenuity have enabled him to pull together a home and a sense of family.

While raising awareness of some of the challenges and responses of AIDS orphans in Mozambique, HOME IS WHERE YOU FIND IT also highlights how storytelling through film can deepen our understanding of important global issues.


Simon Bland leads the UNAIDS New York Liaison Office to help accelerate progress to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and the targets of the 2011 United Nations General Assembly Political Declaration on HIV and AIDS. He is also helping to develop a strong post-2015 approach that strengthens the synergies between the AIDS response and broader health, development and security that ensures no one is left behind and that we achieve an AIDS-free generation.

Before joining UNAIDS Mr. Bland was a senior civil servant in the United Kingdom's Department for International Development (DFID) and, most recently, headed their Global Funds Department. He was responsible for the United Kingdom's policies, programmes, financial management and shareholder relations with Global Funds and Innovative Finance in health and education. He represented the United Kingdom on the Boards of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund), the GAVI Alliance, UNITAID and the Global Partnership for Education.

From September 2011 to June 2013, Mr. Bland was Chair of the Board of the Global Fund and oversaw a substantial transformation culminating with the introduction of its new funding model and strengthened partnership approach.

Mr. Bland's early background was in marine sciences and natural resources management, later moving into development economics and management. He has spent most of the last 30 years working in developing countries in Africa, Asia and the Pacific. He has led DFID country programmes in Russia, Ukraine, Kenya and Somalia before moving to Geneva to work on global health, education and humanitarian affairs.

In 2013, Mr. Bland was made a Commander of the British Empire in the Queen's Birthday Honours list for service to Global Health.


Chris Zalla is a writer-director whose first film, Padre Nuestro, won the Dramatic Grand Jury Prize at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival. He wrote a feature film set in a Bolivian Prison, entitled Marching Powder, for Brad Pitt's Plan B Entertainment.

Chris received an MFA with Honors in directing from Columbia University's Graduate Film Division, where the faculty awarded him a full Departmental Research Assistant fellowship for merit as a top student.

He also served as a teaching assistant at Columbia, where he instructed undergraduates in weekly classes in film history, theory and craft.

Chris was born in Kisumu, Kenya and spent much of his youth overseas. He has also worked as a rough carpenter and spent nine summer seasons as a commercial salmon fisherman in Alaska's Bering Sea.

He is fluent in Spanish and currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Dr. Neal Baer, M.D. is a Harvard-trained physician, practicing pediatrician and award-winning television writer and producer. Since 2000, he has served as executive producer of the NBC series Law and Order: Special Victims Unit. He was previously Executive Producer of ER. He also has served as an adjunct professor at USC, teaching in the area of health communications, health promotion and disease prevention, and sex education.

Baer graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in political science from Colorado College. He holds Masters degrees from Harvard Graduate School of Education and from Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in Sociology. He graduated from Harvard Medical School and completed his internship in pediatrics at Childrens Hospital, Los Angeles. He received the Jerry L. Pettis Memorial Scholarship from the American Medical Association as the most outstanding medical student who has contributed to promoting a better understanding of medicine in the media. The American Association for the Advancement of Science selected him as a Mass Media Fellow.

Baer serves on the boards of numerous health care organizations, including the Venice Family Clinic, Advocates for Youth, Children Now and Physicians for Social Responsibility. He has worked in South Africa and Mozambique since 2006, teaching photography to mothers with HIV and to AIDS orphans so that they can tell the world their own stories. He also has presented locally and internationally to medical and public health students and faculty, television producers and others on such topics as Utilizing the Media to Effect Social Change; Storytelling and Social Change; Domestic and International Policies Affecting HIV and AIDS; Teens, Sex and TV; and Health Messages in Primetime Television.

Because kids tell honest and important stories, but often go unheard, the non-profit organization BYkids was created to pair master filmmakers, such Albert Maysles and Ric Burns, with youth (ages 8-21) from around the world, to create short documentaries that educate Americans about globally relevant issues.

By giving kids the tools and mentoring to make documentary films about their lives and packaging those films for a wide American audience, BYkids gives voice to youth from diverse cultures, and encourages international understanding and engagement by giving viewers concrete ways to respond.

In October 2011, Edmond Mulet, Assistant Secretary-General for U.N. Peacekeeping Operations, became a core advisor for developing BYkids partnerships with United Nations agencies, extending the story sourcing, on-site logistics and strategic outreach for BYkids films. "Each BYkids youth storyteller mobilizes our conscience towards a larger sense of global solidarity. BYkids reminds us that we are one Humanity," said Mulet.

Holly Carter is the Founder and Executive Director of BYkids. Holly began her career as a writer and editor at The New York Times and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. Since then she has lived in Korea as a Henry Luce scholar and print and television journalist; produced an award-winning documentary on Margaret Sanger; co-founded North Carolina's Full Frame Festival; served as a consultant for The After-School Corporation; produced the PBS series Media Matters; and most recently was the Executive Director of The Global Film Initiative.


NOTE: Only UNA-NY Members have guaranteed seating to all our Screening the Issues film events, and attend for free or pay the discounted Members' admission, while UNA-NY Student Members attend ALL events for free. Non-Members must purchase tickets in advance to guarantee their seats. While we do offer a pay-at-the-door policy for guests and non-members, our events are often sold-out, so we strongly encourage membership with UNA-NY to guarantee your seats! Why not take advantage?