In recent years, film has become an increasingly important medium for our political work. The Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung has supported various film productions on the subject of migration, made a number of films ourselves, and organized various film screenings. In cooperation with the offices in Beirut, Tunis, and the Europe Unit, the office in Athens screened some of these as well as many other films at the first MOViEMENT Film Festival. The focus was on the Mediterranean region. Films and directors travelled from Syria, Egypt, Spain, Tunisia, Algeria, Lebanon, Turkey, Germany, and of course Greece.
No competition, no jury, no prizes—but a whole bunch of films and plenty of new insights, discussions, dialogue, and networking. Over five days we presented 34 films, giving them a multidimensional framework with four panel discussions, seven Q&As, a presentation by a migrant women’s film club, a photo exhibition and a migration city walk. Some of the films made their world premiere at the festival: Lost Youth by Andreas Dermanis, Exilée by Ager Oueslati, Across the Horn by Oualid Khelifi, and Searching for Ghazala by Bassam Mortada.
Our goal was to make the complexity of migration and global struggles for freedom of movement and social rights known to a wider audience in Greece, to break with dominant narratives, and to provide a platform for dialogue and solidarity. More than 1,300 viewers, lots of conversations, resoundingly positive feedback on the initiative itself and the curation of the films, the opportunity to discover unknown dimensions of migration and discuss them with film directors, actors, and activists all attest to the success of our film festival “experiment”. We might just put on another festival next year.