- The International Organization for Migration (IOM) announced yesterday the appointment of Mexican filmmaker Samuel Kishi Leopo as its new Goodwill Ambassador, making him a strategic ally in promoting the mandate of the leading United Nations agency in the field of migration.
“I am honored to introduce Samuel today as our ambassador,” said Dana Graber Ladek, IOM Mexico´s Chief of Mission.
“In him we see an outstanding personality in the world of culture, with the capacity to help us defend migrants’ human rights, raise awareness about the positive impact of regular migration, warn about the risks of irregular migration, and promote orderly, safe, and dignified migration.”
Kishi joins other public figures with similar responsibilities, including Egyptian actors Nelly Karim and Asser Yassin, Ghanaian musical artist Kofi Kinaata, Ukrainian-Tatar singer-songwriter and actress Jamala, and Haitian singer and pianist Phyllissia Ross.
“I am the son, grandson and great-grandson of migrants, I am Mexican, I have Mexican blood, my paternal grandparents are Japanese, and my maternal great-grandfather was Chinese,” said Kishi.
“I believe that we are all migrants; we are in constant movement throughout our lives, we migrate in different ways and to different places. In addition, I am interested in human issues, changes, displacement, rootedness and uprooting, identity and human resilience.”
Kishi began his film career in 2011 and has ever since participated in more than 100 national and international exhibitions and film festivals. In 2019, he premiered his multi-award-winning film “Los Lobos” at the Busan International Film Festival (Republic of Korea), a story about two children who migrate to Albuquerque (New Mexico, United States) with their mother, and experience for the first time in their lives the challenges of uprooting.
The film has received to date awards at 25 international festivals, including the Best Film award from the International Grand Jury in the Generation Kplus section at the Berlin International Film Festival, Germany.
IOM was founded in 1951 and became part of the United Nations in 2016. It strongly advocates the principle that orderly and humane migration benefits migrants and society. In addition, IOM serves as the coordinator and secretariat of the United Nations Network on Migration and is a key interlocutor in the field of human mobility, supporting migrants and developing effective responses to the changing dynamics of migration.