IOM and UNIC Beirut host Global Migration Film Festival for the first time in Lebanon

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20 December 2018
IOM and UNIC Beirut host Global Migration Film Festival for the first time in Lebanon
On the occasion of the International Migrants Day, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Lebanon together with the UN Information Centre in Beirut (UNIC Beirut), hosted the Global Migration Film Festival (GMFF) in a one-day screening held on 17 December at Cinema City-Beirut. The event aimed at raising public awareness about one of the greatest phenomena of our time, migration!

Head of IOM office in Lebanon Fawzi Al-Zioud thanked UNIC Beirut for closely collaborating in this event and “making it possible”. “We have always collaborated with UNIC on meaningful events that highlight UN priorities, and migration is definitely one of these priorities,” he added.

“This festival is a powerful tool that can influence perceptions and attitudes towards migrants,” said IOM director. “Through migrants' true stories reflected in these movies, IOM hopes to evoke empathy towards migrants and spread a call against illegal migration and human trafficking,” he noted.

The opening also included a video-taped message by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for the International Migrants’ Day falling on 18 December.

The event featured two long and short movies, namely ‘On the Same Boat’ and ‘Mohamed, the First Name’ respectively, telling the dramatic, poignant and comic stories of migrants who had to risk their lives in search for stability, dignity and freedom. The movies triggered a feeling of compassion among the audience and succeeded in informing the public about the detrimental effects of human trafficking and xenophobia.

The screening of ‘On the Same Boat’ movie was followed by a vibrant Q&A session with its filmmaker and producer Stefania Muresu. Around 70 persons, including military leaders, social activists, civil society organizations, Lebanese directors and actors, UN staff and media representatives were present in this year’s Beirut Migration Film Festival.