Fifth edition of Global Migration Film Festival launched in Nepal

KATHMANDU: Fifth edition of the Global Migration Film Festival (GMFF) was launched in Nepal virtually on Monday at the 8th Nepal Human Rights International Film Festival (NHRIFF) with the screening of a short film on human trafficking and migration.

“Films are one of best media to communicate with both public and policy makers, which eventually become a tool to raise awareness, advocate and trigger discussions on topics that require wider attention,” said Lorena Lando, Chief of Mission for the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in Nepal, speaking at the inaugural session.

“With over 2.4 million Nepali working in over 100 countries, according to Nepal Migration Profile 2019, and prevailing reports of Nepalis falling victim to human traffickers in the course of migration, we believe that the film we have selected to screen this year targeting youth as well as decision makers will be helpful to contribute towards addressing the issue,” Lando added.

The press release issued by IOM, on Monday, said that the GMFF is taking place across the world from November 30 to December 18, 2020, despite the challenges of COVID-19 pandemic. This year’s GMFF also coincides with the ongoing celebrations to mark the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations.

Similarly, addressing the inaugural session, National Human Rights Commission Secretary Bed Prasad Bhattarai opined that film festivals such as GMFF and NHRIFF help raise human rights issues while noting that Nepal’s national policies are in accordance to the international human rights instruments.

A post-screening panel discussion was followed by the Nepal-based short film ‘Pari of Pokhara’ – which depicts a story of a young woman who has lost her mother and family home to an earthquake and falls into the trap of human traffickers while she seeks employment and freedom in life.

Goma Dhakal, Head of Anti Human Trafficking and Control Section at the Ministry Women, Children and Senior Citizens, a representative from civil society organisation, the film’s director Babar Ali, along with Reena Pathak representing UN Nepal, discussed on various aspects of the film and the issues it raises.

“I only tell a story through the film and leave it to the audiences to interpret it,” said film director Ali. “Some might find in the film only a love story while some may find issues like human trafficking and migration,” he added.

The GMFF was launched in 2016 and by its fourth edition in 2019, it had been run in 108 countries, with over 58,000 people attending the over 700 screenings worldwide.

The goal of the festival is to pave the way for greater discussions around one of the greatest phenomena of our time: migration, the press release reads.

Furthermore, it is an innovative avenue for normalising and destigmatising discussions on migration through storytelling, and an advocacy tool that can draw attention to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), thus helping all nations as they work to meet them, it added.

Audiences comprised youths, researchers, people from government agencies, civil society organisations, academia, and media, for advocacy of safe and well governed migration.