Monday, November 30, 2020

Fifth edition of Global Migration Film Festival starts

 The fifth edition of the Global Migration Film Festival (GMFF) in Nepal was launched virtually today at the 8th Nepal Human Rights International Film Festival (NHRIFF) with the screening of a short film on human trafficking and migration.

“Films are one of best media to communicate with both public and policy makers, which eventually become a tool to raise awareness, advocate and trigger discussions on topics that require wider attention,” said chief of Mission for the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in Nepal Lorena Lando, speaking at the inaugural session.

“With over 2.4 million Nepalis working in over 100 countries, according to Nepal Migration Profile 2019, and prevailing reports of Nepalis falling victims tohuman traffickers in the course of migration, we believe that the film we have selected to screen this year targeting youth as well as the decision makers will be helpful to contribute towards addressing the issue,” Lando added.

The GMFF is taking place across the world from November 30 and run tll December 18, despite the challenges of Covid-19 pandemic, according to the IOM. “This year’s GMFF also coincides with the ongoing celebrations to mark the 75th anniversary of the UN.”

Likewise, addressing the inaugural session National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) secretary Bed Prasad Bhattarai opined that such film festivals such as GMFF and NHRIFF help raise human rights issues while noting that Nepal’s national policies are in accordance to the international human rights instruments.

A post-screening panel discussion was followed by the Nepal-based short film ‘Pari of Pokhara’ – which depicts a story of a young woman, who has lost her mother and family home to an earthquake and falls into trap of human traffickers while she seeks employment and freedom in life.

Head of Anti-human Trafficking and Control Section atthe Ministry Women, Children and Senior Citizens, Goma Dhakal, a representative from civil society organisation, and the film’s director Babar Ali along with Reena Pathak representing the UN Nepal, discussed on various aspect of the film and the issues it raises.

“I only tell a story through the film and leave it to the audiences to interpret it,” said the film’s director Babar Ali. “Some might find the film only as love story while some find it as issues like human trafficking and migration, prevent in societies.”

The GMFF was launched in 2016 and by its fourth edition in 2019, it had been run in 108 countries, with over 58,000 people attending the over 700 screenings worldwide, according to a press note issued by the IOM, Kathmandu.

The goal of the Festival is to pave the way for greater discussion around one of the greatest phenomena of our time: migration. Furthermore, it is an innovative avenue for normalising and destigmatising discussions on migration through storytelling, and an advocacy tool that can draw attention to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), thus helping all nations as they work to meet them.

Audiences were from government agencies, youths, civil society organisations, academia, researchers, and media for advocacy for safe and well governed migration.

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