Looking back on the Refugee Film Festival

4 August, 2022 8:40 am

As part of Refugee Week this year, Harrogate College hosted a Refugee Film Festival to enhance the recognition and representation of refugees and asylum seekers across the region. 

The event showcased films of powerful stories about refugees and asylum seekers as well as hosting guest speakers and filmmakers who shared their experiences and vision behind the stories. 

Among the guest speakers was Harrogate District of Sanctuary, a charity that creates a welcoming and inclusive environment for refugees and asylum seekers in the district. They were also there to present us with the  College of Sanctuary status award.

Local historian, Dr. Paul Jennings was another guest speaker at the festival who spoke about how migration has shaped the Harrogate area throughout history.

The evening provided a safe space and platform for conversations amongst guests to talk about the challenges refugees and asylum seekers face every day. 

Group Project Coordinator, Mariam Kauser, whose Innovation and Development team led the film festival project, was delighted to see the success of the evening.

“Our first Group-wide Refugee Film Festival went quite well. The events were open to our students, staff, the public and partners.”

“We were honoured to provide a platform for films that were both narratives and documentaries to illuminate the refugee and asylum seeker experience internationally.” 

“The films were sourced from international and local filmmakers; consisting of individuals, and charitable organisations who work in this sector around these issues of supporting and widening representation of marginalised persons and communities.

“As a team, we valued the ability to connect with local filmmakers, community groups and people who advocate for the rights and representation of refugees and asylum seekers.”

“We hope to do more festivals at Luminate like this in the near future to project the voices and lives of our learners and staff, and to increase representation and awareness of the diverse and resilient souls who make up our culture.”