Dumfries and Galloway’s holds first refugee and migrant film festival

Published: 7 June 2018

The Incomers Film Festival will be held from 18-21 June 2018 and will focus on the human stories of migration.

View of Dumfries from the river

Dumfries and Galloway’s first refugee and migrant film festival will take place during Refugee Week.

The Incomers Film Festival will be held from 18-21 June 2018 and will focus on the human stories of migration.

This four-day film festival marks the 20th anniversary of Refugee Week, and considers refugees’ and migrants’ experiences through the medium of cinema.

Using films that have been suggested by community members, the festival includes an exciting array of short films and features across many different genres, including musicals, documentaries, science-fiction and romance. There is something in this programme for everyone, including two screenings that are planned exclusively for school groups.

This festival, being held in Dumfries’ Robert Burns Centre Film Theatre, is the first event organised by a new partnership of community groups working with refugees and migrants.

This partnership, Research Exchange among Migrant and Refugee Networks (REMiND), has been formed by the University of Glasgow’s School for Interdisciplinary Studies based at the Crichton Campus in Dumfries, and will work across the local region to help promote discussion about migrant and refugee issues. REMiND aims to include community members to shape and to take part in future academic research.

Dr Catherine Dodds, Senior Lecturer at the University of Glasgow said: “In a short time, the REMiND network of community agencies, individuals and academics have pulled together a wonderful community event that is just the start of a longer-term community discussion about what it means for migrants to live, work and study here. It has been a real privilege to work with such committed people, and is also a testament to the tremendous contribution that migrants already make to our region in so many different ways”.

William Nicolussi, Chairman of Dumfries and Galloway Multicultural Association says: “We are very honoured to be supporting this festival. It's an opportunity for many organisations to work together on raising awareness of the refugee crisis around the globe and the interesting migration journey. The world is moving so does the human being.”

Alice Stilgoe from the Robert Burns Centre says: “We are honoured to host this festival at the Robert Burns Centre. The films have been selected by a large group and we think that the programme is a well-judged balance of strong films exploring migrant and refugee issues from a variety of perspectives and genres. We are grateful for the funding that allows us to show the films free of charge.”

John Dennis, secretary of Dumfries TUC has said: "Dumfries Trades Union Council is pleased to be a supporter of the Incomers Film Festival. Scotland has a very positive tradition of caring for child refugees. In the 20th Century Basque children fleeing Spain's murderous civil war were welcomed into Scottish communities as were children from the Kindertransport rescued from the Nazis.” In specific reference to the screening of Sue Clayton’s film, Calais Children: A Case to Answer, Mr Dennis says: “We need to press the Tory Government to honour their previous commitment to rescue the vulnerable unaccompanied Syrian children living in squalor in refugee camps in Europe."

Moxie DePaulitte, founder of MOOL: "It's been wonderful to see the amount of events and activities locally during Refugee Week blossom in recent years and Massive Outpouring of Love is delighted to work in partnership with other dedicated organisations to highlight the benefits of a multicultural society and the beauty it brings to the area. The Film Festival will act as a springboard for conversations about migration, refugees and asylum seekers as Dumfries welcomes more people from across the globe and becomes a more diverse, progressive and exciting region."

The festival will be opened with a civic reception hosted by the Dumfries and Galloway Council.

All screenings are free to the public, and the hosts are able to assist with transport and childcare for those who would not otherwise be able to attend.

Audience members will be invited to stay after the films for complimentary refreshments and a discussion about the issues raised.


The Incomers Film Festival

Location: Robert Burns Centre Film Theatre, Mill Road, Dumfries DG2 7BE
Contact: Catherine Dodds 


Festival Schedule

Tickets are free but audience members should reserve their places in advance via the Robert Burns Centre Film Theatre at www.rbcft.co.uk or over the phone 01387 264808). 

Monday 18 June

  • 7pm: Dirty Pretty Things (2003, Drama): An illegal Nigerian immigrant discovers the unpalatable side of London life. This is accompanied by the short film Journey Through River Vitasa about the personal impact of political change in Kashmir.

Tuesday 19 June

  • 10:30am: Glasgow Girls  (2014, BBC Drama): Pupils at Drumchapel High School in Glasgow fashion a petition to stop the deportation of their classmate and her mother, both Kosovan Roma refugees. This will be accompanied by two shorts: Life on Hold and Rain is Beautiful. This screening is designed for high school groups; any remaining tickets will be released nearer to the event.
  • 2pm: Once (2007, Musical romance): A modern-day musical about a busker and an immigrant and their eventful week in Dublin, as they write, rehearse and record songs that tell their love story. This feature is to be accompanied by the dramatic and high-impact short film, Home.

Wednesday 20 June

  • 1pm: Persepolis (2007, Animation): A precocious and outspoken Iranian girl grows up during the Islamic Revolution. A short documentary made by young people, Supporting Syrians Across Borders will also be shown.
  • 5:30pm Calais Children: A Case to Answer (2017) and At Home in the World(2015) (Two one-hour documentaries): The first is about children left behind after the Calais ‘jungle’ was taken down and the second about the lives of five refugee kids during their first year in a refugee school in Denmark. 

Thursday 21 June

  • 10:30am: An American Tail (1986, Children’s Animation): While emigrating to the United States, a young Russian mouse gets separated from his family and must relocate them while trying to survive in a new country. This screening has already been fully booked by primary school audiences.
  • 7pm: District 9 (2009, Science Fiction): An extraterrestrial race forced to live in slum-like conditions on Earth suddenly finds a kindred spirit in a government agent who is exposed to their biotechnology. The New Colossus will also be shown at this screening. It is a powerful short documentary by a Scottish-based filmmaker about the United States' changing approach to controlling its southern border.

First published: 7 June 2018

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