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Film Fest for Refugee Week

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by Merle Hathaway (subscribe)
The arts are my passion. I occasionally work as a freelance curator, arts administrator, adviser, and volunteer for, and just generally enjoy the arts in all its forms.
Why do people risk their lives trying to reach Australia? And what sort of people are they?

Three award-winning films dealing with the human face of asylum seekers will be shown at Ballarat's first Refugee Film Fest on 17 June as part of Refugee Week.

Refugee Film Fest programme

Mary Meets Mohammad is a warm, true story of an elderly knitter who is initially hostile towards inmates of the nearby detention centre in rural Tasmania. However, during the course of the film she becomes best mates with a young Afghani refugee there. Such strong bonds were made with the whole community that they grieved when the detention centre was closed.

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea follows the stories of asylum seekers in Indonesia who board boats, with tragic results in many cases. This is a very powerful documentary.

Hope is the story of a woman who was one of only seven survivors from 400 who attempted to reach Australia by boat.

Loreto College, 1600 Sturt Street was chosen as the venue for the Film Fest as students there have shown a particular interest in the plight of refugees and asylum seekers.

The films will be shown at 4pm, 5pm, and 6.30pm and the event is free. Tea and coffee will be available between films and there will be an opportunity to meet members of the organising group, Ballarat Rural Australians for Refugees, (formerly known as Ballarat ARA Circle of Friends) and discuss the issues. Everyone is welcome.

Hope, refugee week, Refugee Film Fest, SIEVX
Survivor of SIEV

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When: 17 June from 4pm
Where: 1600 Sturt St, Ballarat VIC 3350
Cost: Free
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