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In run-up to World Refugee Day, Festival of Migrant Film

Ljubljana, 17 June - Films about the lives of refugees and various aspects of migration and asylum policies will be screened in Ljubljana and 11 other Slovenian towns, as the 10th Festival of Migrant Film gets under way on Monday.

Kinodvor cinema
Photo: Tamino Petelinšek/STA
File photo

Running until World Refugee Day, 20 June, the festival will feature 18 films from 16 countries focusing on migrants' and refugees' lives at a time when rich countries are closing their borders, and on LGBTIQA+ refugees.

The films and contributions by the festival guests will seek to shed light on problems such as the wall of bureaucracy, security discourse, and rampant racism and xenophobia.

The festival will open at Kinodvor cinema in Ljubljana tonight will a screening of Styx, a film directed by Wolfgang Fischer about doctor Rike who, while on a sailing trip to a remote island in the Atlantic ocean comes across a damaged ship overcrowded with refugees.

The next day, the Slovenian Cinematheque will screen The Border Fence by Austrian director Nikolaus Geyrhalter, while the bar Pritličje will host a workshop about discrimination of LGBTIQA+ persons.

"Most people, including those whose job it is to provide (support) services to various social groups and persons, do not know about the specific needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, transgender and intersex persons, let alone the needs of LGBTIQA+ persons who seek asylum," the event organizers say.

On Wednesday, a screening of short films will be followed by a debate with Anna Blom, the author of the film Remembering Lampedusa.

The award-winning director and author from Helsinki has made several documentaries and TV programmes for the Finnish public broadcaster YLE. Her focus has been on issues concerning human rights, children and young people.

The festival will wrap up on Thursday with screenings of The European Dream: Serbia by Spanish director Jaime Alekos and Strange Fish by Italian director Giulia Bertoluzzi, followed by a debate with Bertoluzzi.

Meanwhile, the Cinematheque will screen The Most Beautiful Country in the World by Serbian director Želimir Žilnik, who will be on hand for a discussion afterwards.

Organised by Slovenian Philanthropy, the festival will also see film screenings in Maribor, Novo Mesto, Velenje, Murska Sobota, Ljutomer, Žalec, Cerknica, Logatec, Metlika, Črnomelj and Vipava.

© STA, 2019