Geneva – From Guyana in South America to Makati in the Philippines (and many other places in between) filmmakers from around the globe will soon showcase their skills as cinematographers at the Global Migration Film Festival. Organized by the UN Migration Agency, IOM and supported by UN Information Centers worldwide and with the financial support of DHL, the festival will take place in over 100 countries from 5 to 18 December 2017.
The second edition of the annual Festival will explore the challenges and promises of migration, the heterogenous journey of migrants, moving from one location to another, settling for temporary or permanent periods, in search for a better future and economic prosperity, reuniting with loved ones, or fleeing war and despair.
Films have the power to show different facets of life, through which viewers may cultivate deeper empathy for migrants and a better understanding of their realities, needs, perspectives and capacities. The objective of the Festival is to use films as educational tools that influence perceptions towards migrants bringing attention to social issues.
The opening movie of the festival in Geneva, Lost in Lebanon, delves into the news reports on the Syrian war and gives an intimate look at how four Syrians in Lebanon are trying to find ways to overcome the torment of their shattered lives.
One of the protagonists of the opening film, Mwafak, was invited to create the award statue for the Festival that will be collected and delivered by DHL, one of the partners of the Festival.
Mwafak describes the statue as “a human, female figure standing upright, portraying an optimistic gesture. The woman, stands as a symbol of harmonic life and consistent peace. She looks up to the sky, into the future. Her hair and cape wave softly in the wind. The breeze can be at the same time a challenge and her chance to fly and feel light. The material, bronze, with its warm color gives the sculpture a feeling of both strength and warmth.”
Explaining his choice for sculpting a woman, Mwafak says that “women represent hope – they are the ones who continue life as they give birth”, further adding that the women who endure the danger and strain of the migration journey are exceptionally strong and resilient.
Among others, the Festival will screen Sans Le Kosovo, in which the director and her father retrace his exile as a 19-year-old refugee from Kosovo in 1968. In Nowhere Man, a nameless refugee in Korea from Pakistan who does not appear onscreen, reminds us of all the refugees who have passed by us over the years. Over 30 movies in total will be screened worldwide.
Some of the filmmakers participating in the Festival have migrated at a certain point in their lives, and will put forth their talent, experiences and vision through movies spanning across all genres. Most of the screenings will be followed by a discussion panel consisting of filmmakers, migrants and other guests.
A committee of international film professionals and migration specialists will select three standout productions from the Emerging Filmmakers category and one standout production from the Professional Filmmakers category. Each winner will receive USD 1,500. The award ceremony will take place on 18 December in Les Cinémas du Grütli, Geneva.
The Global Migration Film Festival is not only spreading migration stories around the globe to inform, inspire, educate and transform, but it is also bringing the skills of storytelling through filmmaking, to vulnerable communities. With the support of IOM Development Fund (IDF) and Norcap, Participatory Video workshops took place in Amman, Jordan and Malakal, South Sudan.
During the five-day process, the youth groups created their own films. The participatory process empowers the participants. From the decision of the subject to the editing, every step was conducted by the group with the support of the facilitators.
The Global Migration Film Festival is a partner of Plural+, a youth-produced video festival, and the UN campaign, TOGETHER, which aims to change negative perceptions and attitudes towards refugees and migrants.
For more information, please contact IOM HQ:
Leonard Doyle, Tel: + 41 22 717 9589, Email: email@example.com
Amanda Nero, Tel: +41 22 717 9111, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org