June 20, 2024

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Matteo Garrone And Agnieszka Holland Films Join Refugee Week Lineup

EXCLUSIVE: Io Capitano, the latest feature from Italian filmmaker Matteo Garrone, and Agnieszka Holland’s Green Border have joined the lineup of this year’s Refugee Week arts and culture festival, running June 17 to 23. 

The theme for Refugee Week 2024 is “Our Home”, which organizers have said will focus on thinking about our bodies as our homes, how we can make whole neighborhoods more welcoming, and how to care for our collective home, planet Earth. 

Mubi has joined the festival this year and will launch Garrone’s Io Capitano on its platform during the festival. BFI Player has compiled a Refugee Week collection of free films and rental films. Other major events during the week include: 

Key Screenings (London):

Io Capitano by Matteo Garrone: This Oscar-nominated film follows two Senegalese teenagers, Seydou and Moussa, as they journey from Dakar to Italy, facing deserts, detention centers, and perilous seas in pursuit of a better life. This film will also be screened at the BFI on Monday 17th June at 17:50 and this event will be followed by a panel discussion.

We Dare to Dream + ScreenTalk with Waad Al-Kateab: On June 19th at 18:15, the Barbican will screen this powerful documentary by Waad Al-Kateab (For Sama), highlighting refugee athletes from Iran, Syria, South Sudan, and Cameroon as they train for the Olympics.

Talking with Rivers/The List by Mohsen and Hana Makhmalbaf: Talking with Rivers (Mohsen Makhmalbaf, 2023),a film essay featuring a poetic conversation between two neighbouring nations, Iran and Afghanistan, as they consider their shared and troubled history. Screening alongside it will be The List (Hana Makhmalbaf, 2023), which follows Mohsen Makhmalbaf, as he negotiates with international agencies and embassies for refugee relief in an unsettling portrait of artists attempting to flee Afghanistan following the sudden US and allied withdrawal in 2021. The BFI screenings on 23rd June will be followed by a Q&A with both directors.

Green Border by Agnieszka Holland: Premiering on June 21st at the BFI, some 30 years after she made Europa Europa, three-time Oscar-nominee Agnieszka Holland returns with a powerful, timely and award-winning feature that speaks to the heart as it addresses global migration with striking urgency. This award-winning film addresses the migrant crisis at the Polish-Belarusian border, focusing on personal stories of refugees, aid workers, and border guards.

Drift by Anthony Chen: Presented by London Breeze festival Drift is the first English language feature film from Singaporean director, Anthony Chen which will be screened on the last day of Refugee Week on the 23rd June at the Garden Cinema, followed by a Q&A with screenwriter Susanne Farrell. The film tells the story of a young refugee’s struggle (played by Cynthia Erivo) for survival on a Greek island. While gathering her strength, she begins a friendship with a rootless tour-guide (Alia Shawkat) and together they find the resilience to forge ahead

Last year’s Refugee Week marked the festival’s 25th anniversary and saw over 9,500 events in 130 locations across the UK.

“Since its inception over 25 years ago, Refugee Week has remained true to a clear and unequivocal mission – to celebrate the immense richness, creativity, and strength refugees bring to their new communities,” said Enver Solomon, CEO of the Refugee Council and Refugee Week Co-Chair.

“Refugee Week 2023 set the bar for success higher than ever, and I know I join many in being truly excited about the power of this year’s festival to speak up even louder and clearer in support of welcoming refugees with respect, compassion, and love.”

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