Flood of IOM Festival Submissions Evidence Filmmakers, Audiences Mobilized on Migration

Global Migration Film Festival

Geneva – The flood of submissions to IOM’s Fourth Annual Global Migration Film Festival (GMFF), the largest event of its type in the world, proves filmmakers are excited about telling migration-themed stories, festival manager Amanda Nero said today.

“The response to our month-long ‘Call for Films’ was overwhelming,” Nero said.

“We received submissions at more than twice the rate of last year’s event which reflects the increasing willingness of filmmakers to tackle migration stories in all their complexity, and the obvious interest of the film-going audience in this topic. This is something we want to build on in the future, establishing links to film schools for example so we can reach the next generation of filmmakers.”

More than 600 feature, documentary and short film submissions were received from 90 countries before Friday’s deadline, a rate of 20-per-day. Last year’s three-month-long Call for Films attracted roughly nine daily submissions.

Indian filmmakers were the busiest, sending 52 in total, followed by the United States with 42, Greece, 37, and the Islamic Republic of Iran and Italy, both with 35 films.

More than 40 per cent (243) of the total submissions are from The European Economic Area (EEA) or the European Union (EU). Asia and the Pacific accounts for over a hundred submissions. Central & North America, Caribbean ranked number three with 74 films submitted. South American filmmakers submitted 43 films, followed by South-Eastern Europe and Central Asia; Middle East and North Africa.

The GMFF is an inclusive festival, everyone is welcome and the entrance to all events is free. Screenings begin 28 November and run through 18 December –International Migrants Day. Last year, events were held in more than 100 countries.

The GMFF Official Selection will have about 30 films.

“Our two experienced programmers, volunteers and I are reviewing all the submissions to make the final selection. There are many fascinating films, it has been a hard selection process. Our objective is to select movies which speak to the public and generate empathy, providing to the audience a better understanding of migrants realities, needs, perspectives and capacities,” added Nero.

The films cover a wide range of themes. A French about a Cambodian man who migrated to France in the eighties and years later meets his former Khmer Rouge persecutors provides a personal insight in the South East Asian narrative. Another remarkable film tells the story of a Syrian living in Amsterdam using music as a tool to integrate and overcome cultural barriers.

Watch Highlights of the 2018 GMFF Gala Closing Ceremony

For more information, please contact IOM HQ at Tel: +41 227 179 482, Email: migfilmfest@iom.int