2020 Global Migration Film Festival Opens, Linking a Worldwide Audience to Cinema and Human Mobility

Geneva – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) this week (30 November) is launching its annual Global Migration Film Festival, presenting five selected films for screening worldwide. This will mark IOM´s fifth year presenting documentaries, features and short films that explore the themes of migration and human mobility.  

This year’s film festival is taking place despite the global health emergency brought on by COVID-19, with the selected films offered through a virtual platform.  

As in past years, dozens of individual IOM missions also will hold events tied to films’ presentations, joined by panel discussions and other cultural moments open to the public. Those, too, will be launched on virtual, online platforms. 

“We’ve had an outpouring of support from filmmakers worldwide. And, as usual, choosing our selection from the hundreds of works submitted has been both a challenge and a joy. The fact that we can bring so much fine material to so many—and to do so virtually—is a small miracle,” said Leonard Doyle, IOM’s head of Media and Communications. 

Among the over 800 films submitted for IOM’s consideration are five final works that have been chosen to be made accessible on a global internet platform. The five selected films are “Amygdalia” (Greece), directed by Christina Phoebe; “Revolution from Afar” (USA), directed by Bentley Brown; “Omar and Us” (Poland), directed by Maryna Er Gorbach and Mehmet Bahadir Er; “8000 Paperclips” (Israel), directed by Nitsan Tal; and “Women’s Country” (Turkey), directed by Şirin Bahar Demirel. 

The Film Festival features capture the promise and challenges of migration, and the unique contributions that migrants make to their new communities. The goal of the Festival is to open audiences to a larger discussion concerning the mega trend of our time: migration. 

“The Festival is also an advocacy tool, one that can draw attention to the perils of xenophobia and the stigmatizing of outsiders, many of whom are suffering terribly due to the pandemic,” added IOM’s Doyle.  

In the past years, IOM’s Global Migration Film Festival has offered screenings in over 100 countries, reaching audiences of up to 60,000 people annually. Films have been screened under the stars for migrants, as part of a 1,200-kilometre caravan through the desert, in refugee camps and migrant transit centres, as well as in libraries, universities and film clubs in cities large and small.  

This year’s events will continue until 18 December, International Migrants Day, which in previous years has been the date that closes the festival with a gala awards ceremony. This year’s award winners will be announced on-line.   

Click here to know more about the 2020 official selections. 

To visit the GMFF website: https://www.iom.int/global-migration-film-festival   

For more information, please contact IOM HQ: Joel Millman, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email:jmillman@iom.int 

Wigdan Mohamad at IOM Egypt, Tel: +20 1012 428 527, Email: [email protected]