India joins UN Global Migration Film fest
17 December 2017
The Global Migration Film Festival 2017 was off to a fabulous start at the UN Conference Hall in New Delhi on 15 December 2017. Organized by the United Nations Information Centre in collaboration with the International Office of Migration (IOM), the festival features new films that capture the promise and challenges of migration for those who leave their homes in search of a better life and the unique contributions migrants make to their new communities.
The festival began with a few opening remarks by Surabhi Singh, Programme Associate at the International Office of Migration, explaining the vision behind the second edition of the Global Migration Film Festival, and role of cinema in educating audiences about the issues that affect migrant communities. The first of the two screenings, ‘No Problem! Six Months with the Barefoot Grandmamas’ directed by Yasmin Kidwai, was followed by a panel discussion on the topic of migration steered by Meera Sethi, Former Special Envoy to India, International Office of Migration, and Seeta Sharma, National Programme Officer, International Labour Organisation and moderated by Rajiv Chandran, National Information Officer, United Nations Information Centre for India ad Bhutan.
A lively discussion ensued between the audience of nearly one hundred school students, and the panelists, on the challenges and opportunities faced by migrant communities around the world. Insightful observations by the students and similarly perceptive responses by the panelists made for a fruitful engagement on the issue of migration.
The second screening followed, ‘The Deportation of Innocence’ directed by Francisco Alarcon explored the effects of forced deportation on the children left behind. Students emerged from the festival having immersed themselves in the realities that are confronted by the migrant community.
The second and concluding day of the festival continued the dialogue on migration via the screening of the movie, ‘The Lucky Specials’ directed by Rea Rangaka, and a panel discussion featuring the author Aanchal Malhotra, Surabhi Singh and moderated by Rajiv Chandran. The discussion once again was an animated one, with issues ranging from who is considered a migrant, to the idea of othering, the problem with stereotyping, and even instances of classroom bullying being touched upon via the core issue of migration.
The film festival is also travelling to various schools across the city, piquing interest among students on issues of human migration.