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Founded last year by the United Nations Migration Agency (IOM,) the Global Migration Film Festival is all about bringing together the best of films and documentaries that capture the promise and challenges of migration for those who leave their homes in search of a better life as well as the unique contributions migrants make to their new communities. It paves the way for greater discussion around one of the greatest phenomenon of our time. This festival is a partner of Plural+ and the UN campaign, TOGETHER, which aim to change negative perceptions and attitudes towards refugees and migrants.
This year's edition of the festival is taking place in over 100 cities all over the world, including Cairo in four of the city's favourite cultural hangouts: Zawya, Darb 1718, Cimatheque, and the Goethe-Institute Kairo.
These are the seven films that you definitely have to make time to see, and entry is free so you have no excuse not to go.
No Problem! 6 Months with the Barefoot Grandmamas
The story of a rural solar electrification project run by the Barefoot College in the Tilonia village, Rajasthan state, India. Here, numerous illiterate rural women from all over the world, particularly Africa, are being trained as solar engineers. The film follows the story of a group of women from Tanzania, South Sudan, Malawi, and Liberia, living and learning together for six months in Tilonia — having left their families and countries for the first time in their lives.
Misafir, A Guest
"MISAFIR A Guest” is a documentary film about the stories of three teenage refugees from war-torn countries (Palestine, Syria, and Afghanistan) who fled to Istanbul in search for better lives. The movie highlights their background story, how they adapted to life in a multicultural city, their contributions, and how Istanbul embraced them as "guests" rather than "refugees".
This is Not Paradise
In Lebanon, thousands of migrant domestic workers are living in close to slavery conditions and without proper legal protection. According to Human Rights Watch, since 2007, an average of two women a week commit suicide. The documentary analyses a delicate and little-known issue in Lebanon and the Middle East through the stories of women who succeed in emancipating themselves and the work of associations that defend migrant rights. Today, a radical positive change is at hand, thanks to the commitment of Lebanese civil society and the new generations.
Lost in Lebanon
"Lost in Lebanon" gains access to unknown stories in a region that is on the fringes of hell. Spending over a year in Lebanon, in Beirut and on the borders of Syria, this film tells the story behind the news reports and reflects the lives of the people living in the shadow of the Syrian war.
Meet Kalu, a gifted football star whose journey to soccer stardom is complicated when he learns that he is HIV-positive. What follows is an entertaining and educational ride that follows Kalu and the virus within his young body.
Matar, a Senegalese fisherman, finds a Belgian passport on a beach in Dakar. He decides to use it. He crosses paths with N’Zibou, a crazy wise man who measures the clouds. He questions Matar about his search for identity. One day, Matar disappears.
Ballad for Syria
This self-reflective musical documentary narrates poetic stories in short stanzas about the life of Maisa Alhafez, a musician and Syrian refugee living in Istanbul. The film is about her longing for her loved ones as she tries to make a place for herself in the world of the displaced. Her family are still in Syria, but her fiancé is in the Netherlands. Border regimes make it challenging to unite. Maisa works hard for her vision to transform borders by building a multicultural community - “The oriental Istanbul Mosaic Choir”. Maisa believes that through music and love, the wounds of her people and children can be healed.