7th Annual

UNSPOKEN is an annual human rights forum that combines film, art, and a conference into one festival.  Held in Utica, NY in October of each year, this multi-faceted forum seeks not only to give a voice to human rights violations from around the globe, but also to offer practical solutions in order to shape a better tomorrow and give hope to the future.

The Voices of UNSPOKEN™

UNSPOKEN gives voice to the issues via three formats for presenting, depicting, sharing, and discussing information.

UNSPOKEN: an International Film Festival
Experience compelling stories told via film. There will be a variety of both short and feature length films exposing human rights violations from around the globe. With talks and discussion with the filmmakers that accompany some of the films, UNSPOKEN will offer rare insight, perspective, and solutions to these pressing issues.

UNSPOKEN: a Conference
The theme for the 2017 UNSPOKEN Human Rights Film Festival Conference will focus on healthcare with the featured film Lost in Lebanon and a Cultural Competency training for providers.
UNSPOKEN: an Arts & Entertainment Festival
Celebrate the beauty of shared diversity through storytelling with the Utica Firefly Storytelling showcase. Individuals from the community will share personal stories of challenge and triumph.

Location of UNSPOKEN™

Utica, NY is truly one of the world’s most deserving homes for UNSPOKEN. This city was built by wave after wave of people driven from their homes, or who were seeking something better. Before such people were even considered “refugees”, they came to Utica. Today, Utica, called “The Town that LOVES Refugees” by the United Nations, has one of the highest concentrations of refugees per capita in the United States.   Utica serves as a home to thousands who have experienced and fled human rights violations and abuses. People from myriad cultures and lands live, work, and play together to build their futures. In Utica they are UNSPOKEN no longer.

NPR’s State Of The Re:Union story about Utica!


Shelly Callahan: UNSPOKEN Executive Partner with the MVRCR



Poster Design: Lindy Callahan 

Program Design:

Printing: MVCC Marketing & Communications and PJ Green

Volunteer Coordinator: Jennifer Cieslewitz


UNSPOKEN was founded by

Michael Patrei

Michael’s feature length documentary film, Ballou has been in both national and international film festivals, screened at the White House, and premiered on the BET Network. He is also the founder and puppeteer with The Guild of Thespian Puppets.

Peter Vogelaar

Through his work as the director of the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees, Utica, NY has been recognized by the United Nations as, “The Town That Loves Refugees.”

Rick Short

Rick is the Director of Marketing Communications at The Indium Corporation and organizer of several festivals and events in and around the Utica area.

Help give a voice to the UNSPOKEN!