SEECA Region Embraces Global Migration Film Festival

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 Dec 07, 2018

December 18th will mark International Migrants Day, first proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in 2000 to recognize the scale of the global migration phenomenon. Celebrated internationally, it provides an opportunity to acknowledge the positive contributions of migrants and their fundamental role in sustainable development. Since 2016, IOM has held a Global Migration Film Festival in the leadup to Internaitnal Migrants Day, and week one has been a huge sugess this year, especially in the SEEECA region where more than half of the missions are participating. 

Screenings of the 42 selected migration-themed films (from over 784 submissions) were held across the globe, from the Dominican Republic to Rwanda, from Romania to Indonesia.

By the time the festival wraps up with a gala event in Cairo on International Migrants Day, on 18 December, at least 424 screenings will have been held in nearly 150 cities.

IOM and the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO University) have teamed up to screen 12 GMFF offerings between 11 and 18 December. The Festival coincides with the 10th international Migration Bridges in Eurasia forum.

The opening ceremony will take place on 11 December at MGIMO University with the screening of Donald Trump’s Wall, a film by Guillermo Galdos about 12-year-old migrant Fatima and her sister who are on their way to join their mother in the United States.

During the week, IOM will screen 12 films that touch upon different sides of migration including A Walk on the Tight Rope, a German documentary that offers a remarkable insight into the asylum application process and, Bushfallers – A Journey of Chasing Dreams, in which four young filmmakers embark on a journey to discover why Africans choose to migrate to Europe.

The complete festival agenda for Moscow can be found here:

“Films about migrants are films about life; they give society an idea about migrants as people, not as a threat. Some people think that migration is something abstract and dangerous for society, and films destroy these stereotypes – they show the life of migrants as ordinary people,” said Sergey Ryazantsev, Head of the Demography and Migration Department at MGIMO University, and a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

IOM Moscow’s 19 screenings places it among the top 10 most active IOM missions.

“The Global Migration Film Festival, launched in 2016, has been instrumental in conveying the message on the realities of migration, its challenges and opportunities,” noted Abdusattor Esoev, IOM Moscow Chief of Mission. “I am very thankful for the support of our partner, the Moscow State Institute for International Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russian Federation, in jointly organizing this year’s Film Festival in Russia.”

IOM Turkey will mark the occasion through a Global Migration Film Festival with 10 events across seven cities during 12-18 December. The festival will kick off on 12th December at Gaziantep Municipal Auditorium with a public screening of A Walk on the Tight Rope.

A documentary by German producers Sandra Budesheim and Sabine Zimmer, it tells the complex story of four asylum seekers navigating the asylum application process in Germany.

On 14th December in Ankara, IOM will host a photo exhibition, film screening and panel discussion at the French Institute. Films from around the world will be screened followed by an interactive panel featuring Fariba Nawa, journalist and author of Opium Nation; Abdi Deeq, Somali migrant and artist; Tayfun Sargin of the Turkish Coast Guard; and Ege Yigit of IOM Izmir.

Film screenings will continue at the French Institute on Saturday, 15th December in the afternoon and evening, and are open to the public. Download the schedule here.

The photo exhibit, curated by IOM photographers in line with this year’s theme for International Migrants Day – Migration with Dignity – will be on display and open to the public during 15-18 December at the French Institute.

It illustrates the challenges migrants face and celebrates their contributions to host communities in Turkey, reaffirming migration as a driving force for progress and development. The exhibit tells the story of how migrants and refugees – whether on the move or living locally, from Sanliurfa to Izmir – find peace and a stable life.

Events throughout south-eastern Turkey will take place in Sanliurfa, Iskenderun, Adana, and Gaziantep in partnership with local municipal community centres, the Turkish Red Crescent and Kirkayak Cultural Center. A full schedule of events is available here.

“Films have the power to show different facets of life and help audiences cultivate deeper empathy for migrants. Our events will aim to create a better understanding of migrants’ realities, needs, perspectives and capacities,” said Lado Gvilava, IOM’s Chief of Mission in Turkey.