Dushanbe residents were invited to free screenings of films and documentaries as part of the Global Migration Film Festival. For the first time the festival was organized in Tajikistan, and it was hosted by the International Organization for Migration (IOM)- United Nations Migration Agency. The festival was held in over 100 countries and was dedicated to International Migrants Day on 18 December.
Films and documentaries produced around the world that capture the lives of people on the move were showcased from 5 December to 18 December in selected locations in Dushanbe. In total, four films were screened in Dushanbe as part of the festival that showcased the promise and challenges of migration, change perception of migrants, and highlight the unique contributions made by migrants to their new communities and to their homelands.
When discussing the Global Migration Film Festival William Lacy Swing, IOM Director General, said: “The journeys migrants take, sometimes full of peril, often full of hope, have been the subject of films throughout the history of cinema. We hope the films at our festival will instill understanding, empathy with characters, awe at their journeys and admiration for those who welcome their new neighbors."
Dragan Aleksoski, IOM Tajikistan Chief of Mission, said of the Festival “We are extremely proud to be running the Global Migration Film Festival for the first time in Tajikistan. We are delighted that the screenings were followed by lively debates to discuss migration challenges and opportunities, how communities can benefit from this process, and how to make migration journeys safer and easier. The festival provided a great moment and platform to think about strengthening the contact between host countries and communities and people on the move. Migration is not a new concept for Tajikistan, and it is difficult to find anyone in this country whose life has not been effected by migration in some way. We believe, however, that these films will allow us to look differently at our neighbours and friend, and to change our perceptions about migration”.
Additionally, series of other campaigns were organized by IOM Tajikistan with cooperation with the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of the Republic of Tajikistan to mark the International Migrants Day this year. Art and poetry contests, photo exhibition and exhibition of the UN agencies and other international organizations, board games, awareness raising campaigns, mobile theatre shows, TV and radio programs were conducted in Dushanbe during the Global Migration Film Festival days.