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EXILE AND BELONGING: STORIES OF MIGRANTS FROM AROUND THE WORLD
 
EXILE AND BELONGING: STORIES OF MIGRANTS FROM AROUND THE WORLD
 
East Coast Premiere

Director: Christina MacGillivray

Switzerland, 2018, 15min
Format: Digital (screening) - Animation (shooting)
Festival Year: 2019
Category: Animation
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showtime: 1:00 PM | Saturday March 23 | Zukortickets

Cast:  Hari Kondabolu
Crew:  Producers: Christina MacGillivray, Pia Oberoi, Genevieve Sauberli - Screenwriters: - ANIMATION: Ankit Kumar - MUSIC COMPOSITION: Garry Morris - ILLUSTRATION: Taarika John
Email:  Christinamummydaddy.com

synopsis
Migrants are those who have moved across borders, each with their own personal story of struggle and success, exile and belonging. Their own reasons for leaving behind homes and families. In Exile and Belonging, we see seven stories of migration from seven different countries. Each story sheds light on the diversity of individual experiences of migrants from around the world. Yet all are unified by the uniquely human audacity to imagine a better life. The film uses the voices of real people paired with animation. We have used animation to protect the identities of those who remain in a precarious legal situation related to their immigration status. Exile and Belonging was created with Hari Kondabolu, recently honored by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio for his ability to unite people of all backgrounds and beliefs in laughter, while raising awareness about social justice and equality. The New York Times called Kondabolu "one of the most necessary political comedians working today...." Last, we created this film with the belief that through conversation with those we perceive as different, by listening to their experiences as individuals, we recognize that we share a universal human longing to belong and to live with dignity. We have far more in common than that which divides us, a critical reminder in today's divisive atmosphere.

director
Christina MacGillivray is an award-winning writer, director and cinematographer based in New Delhi, India. She works with the United Nations Human Rights Office on creating new film and storytelling initiatives around the issues of human rights and immigration. Christina founded the production company Mummy Daddy Media in 2012. She is a former President William J. Clinton fellow in media and human rights. Christina has directed and produced films in more than a dozen countries including India, China, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kenya, Austria, Malaysia and others. Her work focuses on empowering women and girls, both on screen and behind the camera.


filmmaker's note
Migrants are those who have moved across borders, each with their own personal story of struggle and success, exile and belonging. Their own reasons for leaving behind homes and families. These stories often remain hidden, like many migrants compelled to endure life in the shadows, prevented from enjoying the rights and freedoms so many take for granted. Anti-migrant discourse in the political sphere, the media and public debate have become commonplace, often for cheap political gains, or to boost sales and advertising revenue. Dividing societies into ‘us’ versus ‘them’ enables a justification of discrimination, hatred and violence against migrants. In the ultimate analysis, it is our societies that have the most to lose from spreading hatred. Exile and Belonging showcases the unique stories of migrants, shedding light on the diversity of individual experiences of migrants from around the world. The film uses the voices of real people paired with animation. We have used animation to protect the identities of those who remain in a precarious legal situation related to their immigration status. In Exile and Belonging, we see seven stories of migration. We meet siblings Mai Na and Choua, who fled Laos as children during the CIA’s secret war against communist forces in the 1970s. We meet Brian Chang, now a top financial analyst in the United States, who toiled in the work camps of Mao’s communist China. Moussa, another character, shares his story of walking from Gambia through the desert to help his family achieve a better life. Each story highlights the variety of migration experiences. Yet all are unified by the uniquely human audacity to imagine a better life. Exile and Belonging was created with Hari Kondabolu, recently honored by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio for his ability to unite people of all backgrounds and beliefs in laughter, while raising awareness about social justice and equality. The New York Times called Kondabolu "one of the most necessary political comedians working today… his material addresses culture and current events through a sharp lens of progressive politics and his clever, very funny perspective.” Last, we created this film with the belief that through conversation with those we perceive as different, by listening to their experiences as individuals, we recognize that we share a universal human longing to belong and to live with dignity. We have far more in common than that which divides us, a critical reminder in today’s divisive atmosphere.

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