Against the backdrop of the largest refugee crisis since the Second World War, a full-day conference, “Refugee Voices in Film,” will be held on the 18th of May at the Palais des Festivals in Cannes, presented by the International Emerging Film Talent Association (IEFTA), in collaboration with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Marché Du Film.

The global humanitarian tragedy has sparked the interest of the entertainment world, specifically on refugee-related films, with filmmakers, some of whom are refugees themselves, telling their own stories and those of affected populations. Refugee Voices in Film, an all-day event, will explore the ways broadcasters, humanitarian agencies and filmmakers engage and portray refugees and their plight, creating a platform for engagement in the media and entertainment landscape. It will present voices of independent filmmakers and look at how the worldwide entertainment community is telling and sharing refugee stories.

The event will consist of conversations, screenings and panel discussions. It will examine the ways narrative and documentary filmmakers and the media have responded to the devastating worldwide crisis and how they have engaged and depicted refugees and their circumstances. It will look at how refugee experiences influence cinematic expression and new storytelling techniques and furthermore, how they create compelling television stories, documentaries and narrative films.

As part of this initiative, plans are also underway for the screening of films about or by refugees at the Doc Corner of the Marché du Film located in the Riviera. While films are still being selected, the programming will consist of films made by the participants in the conference, films by refugees and films depicting the lives of refugees, as well as addressing the multitude of challenges millions of refugees face daily.

“The real lives of refugees are by far more dramatic than anything a fictional film script can provide. So it does not come as a surprise that filmmakers all over the world are taking up the issue in documentaries and fictional films. UNHCR seeks the cooperation of the cinematic world. We intimately know the issues and have experience in communicating with individual refugees without doing harm. The filmmakers bring their stories to an influential audience. It is a perfect match.” – Ragnhild Ek on behalf of UNHCR Egypt.

“The Marché is honored to be the platform for such a significant encounter. The Festival de Cannes is a very symbolic place for the unheard voices to reach an international audience and to raise awareness on refugees across the industry. We are glad to include this topic at the Doc Corner which will showcase many films about displacement, human rights and social justice.” – Jérôme Paillard, Marché Du Film.

“As storytellers and presenters, we have a responsibility to respond to the unimaginable suffering of these peoples. Refugee Voices in Film is a critical event relevant to one of the most pressing humanitarian crisis of our time. It will make a vital difference in bringing refugee stories to an influential audience, and allow for valuable contributions to the landscape of refugees in film and documentaries.” – Marco Orsini, IEFTA.

The mission of IEFTA is to discover and promote emerging cinema talent from around the world, to encourage dialogue between filmmakers, to promote cultural diversity and international understanding and to engage the art of cinema. Focusing on the world’s developing regions, IEFTA’s Global Film Expression provides opportunity and education to those who have no access to the resources for cinematic expression.

2016 will mark the 10th Anniversary of the activities of the IEFTA, including its Global Film Expression, Ethiopian Film Initiative, Addis to Cannes workshop, and numerous other programs and initiatives. IEFTA will be announcing exciting new initiatives and international programs and partnerships during the Festival. And, the IEFTA will celebrate these remarkable achievements with the Refugee Voices in Film workshop, a Gala Party at Venue 61 on the Croisette during the Cannes Film Festival, and a special presentation in Monte-Carlo.

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The International Emerging Film Talent Association is a Monaco-based, non-profit, non-governmental organization. The IEFTA organizes, finances and promotes festivals, exhibition, education and development. This year marks the 10th year as an association in Monaco and their 8th as a collaboration (IEFTA/EFI). They continue to expand and grow as an association, with the aim to make a difference in the careers of many talented filmmakers.

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Source: IEFTA 

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