Gouna Film Festival highlights refugee, migrant issues in cinema

Soha Hesham , Sunday 22 Sep 2019

Some of the attendees of the round-table of Refugee Voices in the Film Industry, held within 3rd El Gouna Film Festival (Photo: courtesy of GFF)

CineGouna hosted a roundtable discussion titled ‘Refugee Voices in the Film Industry’ on Saturday 21 September, sponsored by the International Emerging Film Talent Association (IEFTA) and within the framework of the GFF’s Cinema of Humanity Initiative.

The roundtable was moderated by Swedish filmmaker and producer Ragnhild Ek and the participants were senior manager at UNHCR Daniela Cicchella, filmmaker Amin Dora, humanitarian and social work specialist Thuraya Ismail, Senior Policy Advisor at the UNHCR Shaden Khallaf, Jordanian actress Saba Mubarak, Syrian actor Qays Sheikh Najib and Egyptian filmmaker Amr Salama.
The discussion highlighted the effect of the cinema industry on the refugee issue. Khallaf started the discussion by explaining how films and drama are a key player in dealing with refugee and migrant issues with strong visuals in a medium that can empower and play an informative role for the audience.
Actress Saba Mubarak described her experience in a Jordanian TV series about the challenges in refugee camps in Jordan, saying “all the stories in the TV series were real.”
Amr Salama explained that art could be a very strong tool to promote human rights, especially refugee rights around the world.

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