Media Advisory: UNDP and Istituto Europeo di Design invite the press for avant-première of global documentary in Rio

Photo: Graffiti panel produced by Noventa90 in January 2017 in the neighborhood of Honório Gurgel, Northern Zone of Rio de Janeiro

The Baixada Fluminense, home to 4 out of the 12 million inhabitants of Rio de Janeiro’s metropolitan region, pioneers a United Nations pilot project that uses music and art to incentivize action for sustainable development by at least 1 million people.

Rio de Janeiro, 3 May 2017 – UNDP’s RIO+ Centre in Rio de Janeiro and the Istituto Europeo di Design (IED) invite international correspondents, the local press and the diplomatic corps to attend the avant-première of the United Nations global documentary “Baixada Never Gives Up” at the IED Rio.

The 65-minute documentary, directed by Italy’s Christian Tragni and Brazil’s Juliana Spinola, shows the potential and the power of music and arts in transforming the reality of Rio’s Baixada, one of the world’s most violent metropolitan regions.

The global documentary “Baixada Never Gives Up” will be broadcasted in the 166 developing nations where UNDP operates and also made available to key global networks, such as RAI Italia, Al Jazeera English, BBC, AFP and CNN.

The film will tell the world the story of the first UN-sponsored network of grassroots artists and musicians from the urban peripheries – the Baixada Never Gives Up [Baixada Nunca Se Rende], which is part of a pioneering project led by the UN Development Programme to popularize the 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals in areas that are usually marginalized.

The pilot project is being implemented by the UNDP in Rio de Janeiro’s Baixada and will deliver a model for replication by UNDP offices in 166 countries in the developing world, allowing the UN to use music and arts to work closer to citizens from the suburbs in the implementation of the sustainable development agenda and to trigger increased government transparency and accountability.

Rio de Janeiro is the birthplace of the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – the global action plan composed of 17 goals that were agreed upon by all 193 Members States, entering into effect on 1st January 2016.  Born at the landmark Rio+ 20 Conference held in Rio de Janeiro in 2012, the new UN agenda and its 17 Global Goals are an action plan for shifting development patterns towards more equitable and sustainable development that benefits all. With an ethos of leaving no one behind, the 2030 Agenda is a clear commitment on behalf of governments to address issues of exclusion and inequality that have hampered development advances to date.

The pilot project in Rio’s Baixada comes as a direct response to the “leaving no one behind” ethos in the effort to make sustainable development a reality for all, regardless of race, religion, gender, and location. Knowing that this agenda exists as part of an international commitment made by all countries, is the first step in understanding and claiming sustainable development as a right, particularly among vulnerable populations.

Music fosters action for a better future

The UN documentary was produced in January-February 2017 in Belford Roxo, Nova Iguaçu and Duque de Caxias, some of the 13 cities that compose Rio de Janeiro’s ‘Baixada’ region. Almost 4 million people live in the Baixada – two and half million less people than the city of Rio de Janeiro. Despite having less inhabitants than the city of Rio, the Baixada has far more homicides than the capital city.

With a population eight times smaller than Rio, Nova Iguaçu registered more homicides than the capital city, reaching the staggering figure of 1,209 citizens assassinated in 2015.

Duque de Caxias, the largest city of the Baixada with 886,000 people, registered a rate of homicides per 100,000 inhabitants that is almost 2 times higher than Mexico or Haiti and 10 times higher than the US.

Belford Roxo, a city in the Baixada with less than half million inhabitants, registered 227 homicides last year. In the same year, New York City registered 352, with a total population of 8.5 million people.

The United Nations pilot project with musicians is being implemented by the UNDP’s World Centre for Sustainable Development (RIO+ Centre), which was established in 2013 in Rio as a legacy of the Rio+ 20 Conference.  The Rio+ Centre is one of UNDP’s six global policy centres and is a partnership between UNDP and the Brazilian Government.

The implementation of the pilot project began in June 2016 with active support from local musicians, bands and artists. It has already engaged almost 150 musicians and bands, which are gathered around the network called “Baixada Never Gives Up”. Some of the actions of this project included workshops on the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs in the Baixada, training sessions at UNDP in Rio, rehearsals with the youth, production of a promo CD with brand new songs, and a major show at the iconic Odeon Theatre. The pilot project is being implemented thanks to the support of volunteers, including UN volunteers from Germany and Brazil, and the decisive engagement of the Donana Cultural Centre (Centro Cultural Donana) in Belford Roxo, which hosts key events, including rehearsals and workshops.


The UN Development Programme and the Istituto Europeo di Design (IED) are pleased to invite the international correspondents based in Rio, the local press and the diplomatic corps to attend the avant-première of the “Baixada Never Gives Up” documentary on 9 May 2017 at the IED in Urca, Rio de Janeiro. Previous registration via email ( is required.

The grand première event is to be held on 17 May 2017 at the iconic Odeon Theatre in Cinelândia in Rio de Janeiro and will be open to the general public.

Avant-première of the United Nations global film “Baixada Never Gives Up”

Venue: Istituto Europeo di Design (IED-Rio), Avenida João Luiz Alves, 13 – Urca, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Timing: 6 – 8 pm

Teaser available on YouTube:

Registration via e-mail:

Contact information:


Francisco Filho: or + 55 21 3534 5127

Brenda Sachiko Hada: or + 55 19 997 075 533

“Baixada Never Gives Up” network of musicians and artists

Renata Cobre: or + 55 21 969 645 732

Eddi MC: or + 55 21 974 734 974

Related links:


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