Over the years, films have been used to inform, entertain, educate and provoke debate. It is in this spirit that IOM, the UN Migration Agency, launched The Global Migration Film Festival (GMFF) in 2016.

Cinema and migration have a magical bond stretching back over a century ago when film makers, many of whom were immigrants themselves, began making movies that depicted a world on the move. Their films brought the dramatic, poignant and comic stories of migrants to diverse audiences, through images that provoked feeling amongst people of every culture.

The Global Migration Film Festival (GMFF) features films and documentaries that capture the promise and challenges of migration, and the unique contributions that migrants make to their new communities. The goal of the festival is to pave the way for greater discussion around one of the greatest phenomenon of our time.


Films have the power to show different facets of life, which can in turn help viewers to cultivate deeper empathy for migrants and a better understanding of their realities, needs, perspectives and capacities.

The objective of the GMFF is to use films as educational tools that influence perceptions of and attitudes towards migrants, by bringing attention to social issues and creating safe spaces for respectful debate and interaction.

Furthermore, the Festival is an innovative creative avenue for normalizing discussions of migration through storytelling, and it is an advocacy tool that can also draw attention to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), thus helping all nations as they work to meet them.



Professional and emerging filmmakers are invited to submit films about the migrant experience according to the established theme:

The Promise and Challenge of Migration, and the Positive Contributions Migrants Make to Their New Communities. A committee of international film professionals will select a number of outstanding productions to be screened for a diverse audience: thousands of people in almost 100 countries.

The screenings will take place in varied locales, from cinemas to concert halls, and even impromptu settings in hard to reach areas and along popular migration routes such as the trans-Sahara corridor.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions on having large gatherings some screenings will be conducted online.


For more information about the film festival please email migfilmfest@iom.int.