The Definitive Guide to Living in the Capital , Cairo , Egypt

Arts & Culture

Refugee Film Festival: A Call for Hope

Refugee Film Festival: A Call for Hope
    written by
    Hannah Cooper

    Not only does Cairo represent one of
    the five largest urban populations in the developing world, there’s an
    estimated 500,000 to 3million refugees in the city alone. With no political
    rights or legal way of obtaining income, they’re often left to alternative
    sources as a matter of survival in everyday life. They often go unseen, and
    their stories go untold.

    In June 2009, the Egyptian Foundation
    for Refugee Rights, AUC’s centre for refugee and migration studies, along with
    festival coordinators Sara Sadek and Sankalita Shome collaborated with the
    Rawabet Space for Performing Arts in bringing the first refugee film festival
    to Cairo. The
    three-day festival included art workshops and screenings of over twelve films that
    chronicled the realities faced by the some 11million refugees worldwide. The
    festival’s goal was aimed at shedding light on the situation in order to sensitise
    the Cairene community to this particular crisis.

    The 2009 festival was an overwhelming
    success and inspired the collaborators to make it a yearly event. This year,
    the second refugee film festival will be kicking off on June 17 for four days
    and is thematically centred on the hope for successful integration for refugees
    into their host communites. The festival will be held at Darb 1718 Contemporary
    Art and Culture Centre’s open-air theatre from June 17 until June 20. Beanbag
    chair seating will surround the screening area and films will be shown under Cairo ‘s hazy sky.

    Collaborators have attempted
    to include films from various geographical areas to show the issues at hand on
    an international level. They include inspirational stories such as that of
    Emmanuel Jal; a former child solider in Darfur who made his way to become a
    renown hip-hop artist across Africa and the United States .

    Every night, the film
    screenings begin at 8PM and admission is free of charge. On Friday and
    Saturday, a bazaar will take place, selling homemade crafts and delicious
    international foods; all proceeds going to refugees in Cairo. To wrap up the festival, a live
    performance on Sunday night will feature various artists and a mixture of musical
    genres ranging from reggae to folk and blues.

    Films have a unique and somewhat
    magical way of speaking to the soul. Don’t miss this great opportunity to catch
    some great films and also gain insight into a crisis affecting many in this
    city and beyond. Grab a few friends and soak it in.

    For film synopses and more
    information, check out, visit the festival’s website