Culture, Globe, Migrants, Multiculture, Screen, Uncategorized, United Kingdom

Talking differently about migrants and refugees

Professional and up and coming film producers, from almost 100 countries, narrate tales of people forced to abandon their countries of origin, oppressed by the constant drama of war and hunger. The Global Migration Film Festival talks about this topic and will take place in December.

 

Yanet Llanes Alemán

 

According to the United Nations in 2017, the number of international migrants (people who live in a country different from their country of birth) reached 258 million across the world, out of which almost 36 million are children. According to the International Organisation for Migration (IMO) there are 68 million displaced people: 25 million refugees and 3 million asylum seekers, as per its 2017 figures. Of course, the figures as of now are much greater.

This scenario has been the inspiration of the work of many filmmakers who are participating in the fourth Global Migration Film Festival, which takes place every year in December in multiple cities in more than 100 countries and is the first global cultural event about migration.

This is the initiative of the IMO and its organisers want to inform, inspire, transform and promote inclusivity. The challenge, according to IMO which runs the biggest event of its kind in the world, is to address and deal with the situation of migration in all its complexity, through short films, feature films and documentaries.

The festival includes the categories of Feature Films and Short Films in all genres: fiction, documentaries and animation. Only around 30 movies will qualify to be screened in different parts of the world from 28th November to 18th December, the International Migrants Day, against a background, which many consider is a humanitarian crisis.

“These are movies which talk to the public and generate lots of empathy. They provide a better understanding of the realities, needs, perspectives and abilities of migrants”, says Amando Nero, manager of the Festival.

“There are many fascinating movies and it has been a difficult selection process”, said Nero, adding that they cover a wide range of themes and come majorly from India, U.S.A, Greece, Iran and Italy.

The IMO intends to establish links with film schools to instil in the new generation the motivation to work on the theme of migration, one of the biggest phenomena of our times.

As well as this, the Festival offers free entry to the public for all its events. In 2018 they were spread over more than 100 countries.

The aim of the Festival is to use movies as educational tools to influence perceptions and attitudes towards migrants, to bring into focus social questions and to create spaces which nurture debate and conversation based on mutual respect.

Besides this, it creates a space for normalising discussion about migration through story telling.

These movies capture the promise and challenges of the migrants, and the unique contributions they make in their host communities.

The screenings will take place at various locations, from movie halls to concert halls, including in improvised places in areas which may be difficult to access and along popular migratory routes such as the one which crosses the Sahara.

The organisation aims to strengthen cooperation and distribute responsibilities, since the displacement of refugees and migrants on large scales affects all the member States of the United Nations. (PL)

(Translated by C.Siddharth – Email: c.siddharth86@gmail.com) – Photos: Pixabay

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