“Refugees: Escape to Freedom?” – A tribute by the Greek Film Archive

The word “refugee”, deeply etched in human history, nowadays takes on new dimensions. Since the start of the war in Syria, Europe has been receiving the largest refugees’ wave since World War II. The Greek Film Archive and the Thessaloniki Film Festival in collaboration with the Region of Attica are organising the revealing tribute “Refugees: Escape to Freedom?”, a selection of films attempting to document and explore the many aspects of the refugee crisis.

The tribute was first screened at the 18th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival – Images of the 21st Century and it will be presented in Athens for four days, in order to introduce to the Athenian audience documentaries that have built up a mosaic of the stories and testimonies of people coming from the Middle East, Africa and also Europe.

The tribute’s opening film, “I am Dublin” will be screened with the presence of directors David Aronowitsch and Sharmarke Binyusuf, who will also attend a Q&A session with the audience. The following day, director Marianna Economou will introduce her film, “The longest run”, taking place in the Juvenile Correctional Facilities in Volos. On the last day, the tribute will welcome director Morteza Jafari who will introduce his documentary “Dreaming of life”. The directors of these documentaries are actively engaged in the global dialogue on human rights and through their films they expose the personal, social and political responsibilities associated with the question of refugees.

As part of the tribute a round-table discussion will take place on Monday, May 30th at 21:30, under the title “Refugees: images, words, documents” aiming at introducing a comprehensive approach to the refugees question. Participants in the discussion are Xeni Dimitriou, Deputy Public Prosecutor of the Supreme Court in Greece, director Marianna Economou, METAdrasi President Laura Pappa, and photographer Enri Canaj. Journalist Maria Katsounaki (Kathimerini) will moderate the discussion, which will be initiated by representatives of the Greek Film Archive, the Thessaloniki Film Festival and the Region of Attica.

The tribute will also include three films realised by postgraduate students as part of the course “Cultural Studies & Documentary Films”, of the Postgraduate Program in the Faculty of Early Childhood Education at the University of Athens, by Ioanna Athanassatou, Christos Karakepelis and Maria Komninos.


SUNDAY 29/05

20.30 Arrival


“I am Dublin”
Anna Persson, Ahmed Abdullahi, David Aronowitsch, Sharmarke Binyusuf (2015, 80’) Somali, Swedish, English, Finnish/Gr&Eng. Subs
With the presence of the directors David Aronowitsch & Sharmarke Binyusuf
Q&A to follow the screening
Invitation event. Limited tickets also available.

22.45 University student films on the refugee issue

“Melisses” Μέλισσες (13΄) Anna Argyri. Renata Zafeiri, Diamantis Kintsakis, Christina Mixafenti

“Ichni” Ίχνη (15΄) Ioanna Giakoumatou, Maria Kokkinia, Maria Raouzeou, Kleio Tzamtzi, Athina Chatzipolychroni

“Mikres patrides” Μικρές πατρίδες (21΄) Dimosthenis Dimadis, Maria Moustaka, Zinovia Chatzidaki, Vanessa Maragkou

Realised as part of the course “Cultural Studies. Applications on documentary films and cultural documentaries” of the Interdepartmental Postgraduate Program in the Faculty of Early Childhood Education at the University of Athens, “Information and Communication Technologies in Education” Master Program.

MONDAY 30/05

20.00 “The Longest Run”
Marianna Economou (2015, 77’) Greek, English, Kurdish/ Gr Subs
With the presence of the director
Q&A to follow the screening

21.30 Round-table discussion. Refugees: images, words, documents

23.00 “This is Exile: Diaries of Child Refugees”
Mani Y. Benchelah (2015, 57’) Arabic/ Gr&Eng. Subs


21.00 “Dreaming of Denmark”
Michael Graversen (2016, 60’) Danish/ Gr&Eng. Subs

22.00 “At Home in the World”
Andreas Koefoed (2015, 62’) Danish/ Gr&Eng. Subs

23.10 “Lampedusa in Winter”
Jakob Brossmann (2015, 93’) English, Arabic, Italian/ Gr&Eng. Subs


20.45 “Dreaming of life”
Morteza Jafari (2016, 66’) Arabic, Greek, English, Persian/ Gr&Eng. Subs
With the presence of the director
Q&A to follow the screening

22.15 “Flotel Europa”
Vladimir Tomic (2015, 71’) Bosnian/ Gr&Eng. Subs

23.30 “No Man Is an Island”
Tim De Keersmaecker (2015, 70’) Italian, Arabic, Akan/ Gr&Eng. Subs

All screenings to take place at the open-air cinema Lais, with the exception of the screening of the documentary film The Longest Run and the round-table discussion following the screening on Monday 30/05 at Screening Room A. Lais is located on 48 Iera Odos st & Megalou Alexandrou in Gazi.

PHOTO: Greek Film Archive (“This is Exile: Diaries of Child Refugees”)