UN Migration Agency Presents “Granma” at 70th Locarno Film Festival

IOM, Others

Rome – The first screening of the film “Granma”, produced in the framework of the ‘Aware Migrants’ information campaign – developed by IOM, the UN Migration Agency, and financed by the Italian Ministry of the Interior – was held yesterday (7 August) as part of the 70th Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland.

The 35-minute-long film describes the story of Jonathan, a young boy from Lagos, who receives news of the death of his cousin. Jonathan undertakes a long journey to inform the grandmother about the tragedy of his cousin drowning at sea. The film reflects the complexity of migration in relation to young dreams and hopes, needs, realities, social pressure and search for freedom. It also highlights how very often the risks, which could be faced during the journey, are forgotten.

Developed from the original idea of director Gianni Amelio and directed by the Italian Daniele Gaglianone and the Nigerian Alfie Nze, “Granma” was filmed entirely in Nigeria, between Lagos and the village of Badagry. It was filmed with a Nigerian troupe and cast and its soundtrack, which includes the song "Challenging death", is also featured in a music video promoted on social media, especially in Nigeria.

"When we launched Aware Migrants last year with the Ministry of the Interior, we explained that the objective is to inform potential migrants about the risks and dangers linked to irregular migration across the Sahara Desert and Mediterranean Sea," said Federico Soda, Director of the IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean. "Thousands of people challenge death each year to reach safety and many become victims of violence and abuses along the way. The campaign has grown remarkably and, this year, it will expand and consolidate its outreach to the main countries of origin of the migrant population in Italy.”

"The campaign features many types of media products and we realized that the testimonies and videos we have produced so far are so effective that they can also become a tool to raise public awareness in Europe and spread empathy on the violence and abuses faced by migrants. With Aware Migrants, we are actually trying to show the real face and real stories of migrants, who too often are dehumanized and reduced to mere numbers and statistics," continued Soda.

This objective is reflected in "Granma", a film that aims to enhance the cultural debate on the issue of migration in Europe and in Africa through its participation in film festivals and screenings in Europe and Africa.

For more information, please contact Flavio Di Giacomo at IOM Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: fdigiacomo@iom.int