The UN Migration Agency (IOM), in partnership with the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC), participated in the IOM Global Migration Film Festival through the screening of a movie entitled Inside Story. This screening took place on 14th December 2017, at the University of Zambia Vet Lecture Theatre.
Cinema and migration have a magical bond that began over a century ago when film-makers, many of whom were immigrants themselves, began making movies about a world on the move. Their films brought the dramatic, poignant and comic stories of migrants to diverse audiences through images and emotions that were meaningful to every culture. Over the years, films have been used to inform, entertain, educate and provoke debate. It therefore paves the way for greater discussions around one of the greatest phenomenon of our time – Migration.
The Second IOM Global Migration Film Festival included screenings taking place all over the world, with the aim of marking the contribution that migrants make to social and economic development of societies and communities of origin. The Film Festival featured films and documentaries that capture the promise and challenges of migration for those who leave their homes in search of a better life, either by choice or otherwise.
The Global Migration Film Festival forms part of the celebrations in the lead-up to International Migrants Day (IMD), which was on 18th December 2017. The 2017 IMD theme was Safe Migration in a World on the Move. This theme underlines the necessity for safe, orderly and regular migration and captures the promise and challenges of migration for those who leave their homes in search of better life, as well as the unique contributions migrants make to communities or origin, transit and destination.
As part of the Global Migration Film Festival, IOM Zambia hosted the screening of a movie called Inside Story, which follows the journey of Kalu, the protagonist. The movie touches on the many interrelated themes, including health and wellbeing, HIV, labour migration, livelihoods and survival, integration and perseverance. The core message of the movie is: ‘knowledge is power’, which fits well with the need for safe, orderly and regular migration – having the knowledge and means to migrate safely in a regular way. The core message for the movie also fits well with the theme of anti-trafficking and safe migration awareness raising activities in Zambia, which carry the campaign slogan ‘Know Before You Go’.
The colourful event was graced by the Honourable Minster of Home Affairs, Mr. Stephen Kampyongo MP, and was also attended by the United Nations Resident Coordinator, Heads of UN Agencies, and students from the University of Zambia, senior government officials, partner organizations and UN staff. The documentary screening had all invited guests glued to the screen until the end, with cheers as the film reached its peak.
“Screening movies that capture the promise and challenges of migration, depicting the experiences of those who leave their homes for such a wide variety of reasons is an exciting way for us to be connected through shared experiences,” said Marianne Lane, IOM Zambia Chief of Mission.
The screening was followed by a discussion on the documentary with students acknowledging that indeed in line with the theme of the documentary, knowledge is power and safe migration is possible when you have the right information.