Global Migration Film Festival Buzz Reaches Kenya

EUTF, Global Migration Film Festival

Nairobi – On Wednesday (28/11), the UN Migration Agency’s Global Migration Film Festival (GMFF) will kick off at the IMAX 20th Century Theatre in Nairobi with the screening of The Merger, a film by Mark Grentell.

The movie tells the story of a former star footballer turned community outcast who is persuaded to coach a struggling local soccer team in his small Australian town. He recruits refugees to revive the team with hilarious results, and ultimately takes his community on a journey of change.

The GMFF was launched by the UN Migration Agency (IOM) in 2016 to showcase films and documentaries that capture the promise and challenges of migration, and the unique contributions that migrants make to their new communities. This year some 30 films will be shown in over 100 countries. The festival will run from 28 November until International Migrants Day on 18 December. In Nairobi, the closing ceremony will be celebrated with a screening at the Alliance Française.

During the festival, other films will also be shown in collaboration with community groups such as PAWA254 and Dandora Hip Hop City, and at venues such as Eastleigh Clinic, located in the predominantly Somali district of the same name.

“IOM hopes to create a deeper empathy for migrants among people reached by the films because they will be gaining a better and deeper understanding of migrant realities, needs, perspectives and capabilities,” said Michael Pillinger, IOM Kenya Chief of Mission. Pillinger added that he expects increased advocacy on migration issues by a larger group of people beyond Non-Governmental Organizations.

Outside of the capital, IOM will screen various films in six sub-Counties of the coastal city of Mombasa: Chanagamwe, Jomvu, Kisauni, Nyali, Likoni and Mvita. This will be done in collaboration with the County government.  Lamu, another coastal town, will host film screenings within the framework of the Better Migration Management (BMM) programme – a regional, multi-partner programme funded by the EU Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) which aims to improve migration management in the region.

On 16 December, the GMFF 2018 will coincide with the second anniversary of the IOM-EU Joint Initiative on Migrant Protection and Reintegration, also known as ‘the Joint Initiative’, which is the first comprehensive programme to save lives, and protect and assist migrants along key migration routes in Africa. The Joint Initiative provides assistance to returning migrants to help them restart their lives in their countries of origin through an integrated approach to reintegration that supports both migrants and their communities; has the potential to complement local development; and mitigates some of the drivers of irregular migration.

As part of the festival, film screenings will also take place in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia and Sudan under the auspices of the Joint Initiative.

Last year about 6,000 migrants and refugees, alongside 500 students, migration experts, film makers, government officials, and other members of the public attended five major film screenings and public debates held in Nairobi and at the Kakuma/Kalobeyei Refugee Camp, in Turkana County (Northwestern Kenya). The screenings were held in partnership with the Government of Kenya, FilmAid, the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the Regional Mixed Migration Secretariat.

For more information please contact Wilson Johwa at the IOM Regional Office in Nairobi, Tel: +254 701 838 029, Email: