Crossings: Stories of Migration

Posted 15 June 2017

Fire at Sea 2

Doc/Fest has come to a close for another year, after a fantastic festival programme of unique and eye-opening stories. This year’s highly reactive programme did an amazing job at making poignant observations around the state of global politics: key documentaries in the selection naturally took on the complex and timely topic of global migration: packed with Q&A’s and discussions, much of the content took on the subject from varied and insightful perspectives.

Stand out documentaries for us included 69 Minutes and 86 Days (if you saw this, it’s part of our film selection for this month’s Film Discussion group, so come along and share your opinions on Tuesday 20th June). The film follows the daunting journey from Syria to Sweden, from the perspective of a three year old, making the 86 day trip with her family. Watching such an epic journey from the perspective of someone so innocent and optimistic is haunting, poetic and triumphant in equal measure. It was no surprise that the Youth Jury awarded this film their top prize.

Next month we’ll be screening City of Ghosts – winner of the Grand Jury Prize. Underground journalists disseminating the real-life horrors of life under ISIS: a stark documentary revealing the workings at the core of the refugee crisis. You’ll have a chance to watch that with us from 21st July.

If you didn’t get a chance to engage with the films at the festival (or if you just still want more) we have three outstanding, urgent, timely documentaries, and one fiction feature showing as part of Migration Matters festival next week. Crossings: Stories of Migration is a collection put together in collaboration with the Institute of Contemporary Arts, and all four films will be showing during refugee-week.

We’ve been working with Assist, City of Sanctuary and the British Red Cross to create open platforms around the films for people to discuss the issues at hand and share their own experiences. Hoping to take the ideas within the documentaries out of the cinema and into wider circulation, each of our screenings will be accompanied by a Q&A or panel discussion, we’ll also have stalls from Early Asylum Support and Assist in the Café bar.

Tickets for all of the films showing as part of Migration Matters can be purchased on a pay-what-you-can basis, and will be available in person or over the phone from our box office!

What Will We Be Showing?

Between Fences – Wednesday 21st June 18.00

Avi Mograbi and Chen Alon meet African asylum-seekers in a detention facility in the middle of the Negev desert where they are confined by the state of Israel. Together, they question the status of the refugees in Israel using ‘Theatre of the Oppressed’ techniques.

Alambrista! – Friday 23rd June 18.00

The story of a young Mexican father, Roberto, who crosses the border illegally to California in search of work to support his family back home. Winner of the Cannes Film Festivals Inaugural Camera d’Or in 1978, it remains one of the best films ever made on this perennially relevant topic.

Fire at Sea – Saturday 24th June 15.00

A powerful, sobering and masterful look at the refugee crisis through the lens of the small Italian island of Lampedusa. A young boy plays with a slingshot, a family doctor becomes inundated, a boat arrives in a storm. Breath-taking, devastating, human filmmaking.

Those Who Jump – Saturday 24th June 18.00

In northern Morocco lies the Spanish enclave of Melilla; a small piece of Europe on African land. To many African men, this is a symbol of hope but standing between the two territories is a brutal militarized fence system. Shot entirely by Abou Bakar Sidibé, one of the hopeful men attempting to cross the border, this unique documentary uncovers a perilous quest for freedom.

This special screening will be followed by live skype Q&A with the three directors: Avi Mograbi and Chen Alon, and Abou Bakar Sidibé – the refugee at the centre of the film.

Migration Matters festival a five-day theatre and arts festival taking place in Sheffield during Refugee Week (20-24 June). Its aim is to celebrate diversity and recognise the positive impact migration has on the city of Sheffield.

Mikaela Smith

Film Exhibition, Distribution and Sales TraineeRead more posts by Mikaela Smith


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