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03 December 2018

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IOM’s 2018 Global Migration Film Festival (GMFF) enters its 6th day—15 more to go!

Events over the weekend in London drew an enthusiastic crowd at the iconic Somerset House as part of a partnership between IOM and the London Migration Film Festival. Fear and stubborn prejudice lend tension to Australian director Mark Grentell’s film The Merger, a life-affirming story of the struggle for local and refugee footballers to practice true teamwork in rescuing their team.

GMFF also kicked off in West and Central Africa on November 28 in Abuja, Nigeria, where nearly 200 cinephiles gathered for a screening of the short film Granma, by Nigerian filmmaker Alfie Nze and a documentary, Bushfallers – A Journey of Chasing Dreams, by Nils Benjamin Keding. Besides Nigeria, IOM’s West Africa missions will be hosting celebrations in 12 more countries—from Mauritania to Cameroon—up to 18 December. In total, over 40 screenings are planned across the region, in capital cities as well as in remote areas.

In Niger IOM is partnering with Cinéma Numérique Ambulant, an itinerant movie and theatre company, to organize film screenings in ten cities across the country. Theatre and dances shows are also planned across the six transit centres in the country. In Côte d’Ivoire, the festivities will include a screening, an art exhibition and testimonies from migrants and diaspora Ivorians. An awards ceremony for the most compelling migration success-story is also scheduled. The Regional Office in Dakar, together with the United Nations Information Center, will organize an event on 13 December to celebrate the dignity and protection of migrants in the region, whose young people are taking risks to migrate irregularly in search of greener pastures. In Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, IOM will present an award to the best African Francophone film showing the complexity and reality of migration on 18 December.

Flowers of Hope (2016), the story of a group of Malagasy women who were victims of human trafficking and overcame their fear to tell their own stories of forced marriage and domestic slavery, was produced during IOM’s GMFF Participatory Video Project; it opened the Brazilian edition of this year’s festival.

Launched in 2016, the GMFF celebrates the connection between cinema and migration. Professional and emerging filmmakers are invited to submit films about the migrant experience according to the established theme. Most of the chosen films reflect the complexity of migration between dreams and realities, social pressure and search for freedom.

Follow the GMFF on social media: Twitter and Facebook.


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A migrant stands aboard the Spanish fishing vessel Nuestra Madre de Loreto, that is carrying migrants rescued off the coast of Libya on Saturday Dec. 1, 2018. Photo: AP/Javier Fergo

Maltese Coast Guard Takes 11 Migrants Saved by Trawler

Madrid (AP) — Eleven migrants rescued by a trawler last week have been handed over to the Maltese coast guard and will soon reach port in Malta, a Spanish aid group said Sunday.

Proactiva Open Arms says on Twitter that the Spanish trawler Nuestra Senora de Loreto radioed them to say the migrants had been transferred.

Earlier Sunday the Spanish government told the trawler that it had permission to dock in Malta, putting an end to its weeklong wait in the open sea.

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Tatiana Protsenko
Displaced from Donetsk to Kyiv, Ukraine

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Marwa: "I wish for my people a future of freedom and peace."

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  • IPS reported that despite record amounts of money being sent by migrants to their families, these remittances have little to no effect on the dire economic state of affairs in some countries of origin. 

  • Reuters reported that thousands of Moldovans who had migrated West in search of opportunity have returned home and taken part in a pioneering grant scheme to set up small businesses.

  • CBC featured the story of a Canadian veteran Donna Collins — who worked through physical injuries obtained during her service in Afghanistan to help sponsor refugee resettlement to Canada. She also helped a former IOM employee resettle in the country.  

  • Bangladesh’s Financial Express reported that the Bangladesh government is working to ensure international standards within its recruitment agencies. The initiative is based on IOM’s InternationalRecruitment Integrity System (IRIS). 

  • Somalia’s Radio Shabelle reported that IOM has helped 14 Somali migrants return home voluntarily from Tanzania and Uganda following months of confinement in detention centres.

  • Zimbabwe’s Chronicle reported that the Zimbabwean government launched video conferencing equipment that will facilitate interactions between Harare and Zimbabweans living in foreign countriesconcerning social and economic development.

  • According to a Gulf News article, expats say UAE is a shining model of cosmopolitan tolerance where people from more than 200 countries live and work in peace and harmony.

  • The London Free Press featured a photo exhibit by Luc Forsyth, a freelance photographer who spent 40 days travelling with 1,500 migrants as they made their way through Mexico to the American border.