Exodus Shorts Refugee Film Festival, June 16 – 22, 2008

Exodus Shorts Refugee Film Festival, June 16 - 22, 2008

Films telling powerful stories of those who have fled across continents and made new lives for themselves will be shown at the Exodus Shorts Refugee Film Festival in Manchester and Liverpool.

All the short films shown over the week-long festival have been made by refugee and asylum-seeker filmmakers or give a fresh and diverse perspective on the lives of migrant communities.

The unique film festival is now in its fourth year and will be bigger than ever before. More than 15 short films will be shown, and for some it will be their first screening.

There will also be workshops on subjects such as screenwriting and animation and a Meet the Filmmakers panel discussion.

Exodus Shorts Refugee Film Festival is run by Community Arts Northwest (CAN) and supported by Northwest Vision and Media and the UK Film Council.

Amy Cham, organiser and Digital Arts Manager at CAN, said: “We have an amazing standard of films this year and are gaining a good reputation.

“The festival is important because it counteracts the negative press and stigma that often surrounds refugees and asylum seekers.

“A lot of filmmakers are in exile because of their art, so we are keen to support them in continuing to practice that art.

“I’m particularly pleased that we have some great women filmmakers showcased this year, as in the past there has been a shortage of entries by women.”

Exodus Shorts will be held at venues in Manchester including Cornerhouse, Urbis and the Imperial War Museum North, and for the first time extends to Liverpool with showings at the Picturehouse at FACT.

For the first time, the festival is twinned with the Triumphant Refugees’ Short Film Festival in Canberra, Australia. Seven Australian films will be shown at Contact, Manchester, on Tuesday, June 17, and a selection of last year’s Exodus films will be shown in Canberra.

Among the filmmakers being showcased at Exodus Shorts are:

Chiman Rahimi, a Kurdish Iranian refugee, has made a film about the honour killing of a Muslim girl in Sza (Pain).

As a child in Iran, Chiman witnessed women being stoned to death and hanged in public. She left Iran in the middle of the night at the age of 18 without time to say goodbye to her mother because she feared arrest for her political views.

Fatima Helow, a Palestinian asylum seeker, explores her connection with early 20th century British politician Arthur Balfour in her film Arthur Balfour and Me.

Fatima was born and raised on the Shatila refugee camp in Lebabon and witnessed the 1982 massacre of up to 3,500 Palestinians at the camp. Her brother was killed in the massacre.

Nicole Volavka spent four months in Rwanda as assistant to the director Michael Caton-Jones on the BBC film Shooting Dogs. On returning to Britain she made her own film Survivor about a survivor of the Rwandan genocide living in London.

Alan Amin, a Kurdish filmmaker living in Manchester, has two films Finding My Legs and Wasteland in the festival.

Finding My Legs is a documentary about wheelchair athlete Shoha Qadir, who lost both his legs when his Iraqi Kurdish hometown was bombed by Saddam Hussein 20 years ago.

Sami Khan, a Manchester art director who works on the Channel 4 comedy Fonejacker and Peter Kay’s forthcoming comedy, wrote and directed his first fiction film How Life Happens.

For more information on Exodus Shorts see www.can.uk.com/exodus

Region: All
Venue: Various venues across Manchester and Liverpool
Website: http://www.can.uk.com/exodus
Press Tickets: Not Available
Sponsorship: Not Available
Press Tickets:
Name: sara teiger
Phone: 0161 273 4464/ 07711