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Faces of Immigration (working title)


The eastern Greek islands define the borders between East and West, Europe and Asia. Set apart between worlds, they are places where people have come to retreat, rest, or even to escape from time altogether.

Now, the islands of Patmos, Kos, Leros and Lesvos, places steeped in tradition, religion and ancient history, find themselves on the front line of one of the most defining humanitarian crises of recent times.

On any given beach in these parts, you might find tourists enjoying their summer vacations, or you might find a crowded boat full of people fleeing from war, grateful to have safely reached dry land. Thousands of people, waiting to be transferred to the main land, aiming for Germany or any other central European utopia are still stuck in a borderland hotspot with an uncertain future.

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On July 2016 five teams of filmmakers documented short portraits of the characters who found themselves involved in this revolving world. Each portrait traced a single part of a connecting thread:
The story of the teacher preparing the refugees for the indefinite time they will spend in Greece, while stuck in transit at the mental Asylum of Leros.
The story of the Coast Guard heroes fighting with waves and life decisions to rescue thousands of people every day or the one of the local fisherman of Kos who’s world has been invaded and he is refusing to help.
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The story of the awarded photographer who earned his fame through the crisis, the one of the muslim priest performing the burials, the Syrian refugee that almost drowned and now taking swimming lessons, the Swiss who organised the volunteers support and fundraising across Europe, the British tourist attending a summer wedding; they are all swept up in the wave of immigration.

As the media fly home in search of new tragedies, we as filmmakers are focusing on the individual stories, their fears, their origins, what are they hoping for…where is home?

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The Aegean Film Festival together with SugarHigh Films and Cosmote TV, created for the second year, the Patmos Documentary Workshop, bringing talented filmmakers to the Islands, equipping and providing them with the necessary infrastructure, mentoring and support, to cinematically film their characters and stories.
After filming, the short portraits will be edited together to create a single feature length documentary, that asks the question ‘what the movement of people really means?’

Currently, we are completing the project by filming additional footage, editing the stories together and recording original score in London. By the end of 2018, we will have completed 5 short films made by a community of filmmakers and a single 90-110 minute feature length documentary for theatrical, TV and online distribution.

Your help is valuable to make these stories heard.
 If you are interested in joining the project, sponsoring or contributing in any way, please email films@suhi.co.uk

(Research Material)

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