The Berlin Film Festival has dedicated its 66th edition to showcase the plight of refugees around the world making it the most socially conscious festival.

The Berlinale has always held a reputation for being the most politically and socially conscious festival and have strengthened their stand more than ever this year. Festival director, Dieter Kosslick, has called for special emphasis on the current refugee crisis striking so many parts of the world. Festival goers have been requested to donate to refugee and asylum seeker charities with collection boxes outside more than 400 screenings to facilitate this.

The Berlin Film Festival has also welcomed several refugees out of the 1 million who have arrived in Germany over the past year. They have been accompanied by volunteers to screenings while also invited to participate in debates on a wide range of political and philosophical issues.

“The debate about refugees in Germany is very lively and controversial, so we have lots of films on the fate of refugees which also touch on the festival’s title, ‘the pursuit of happiness’, ” Kosslick said ahead of the festival. He pointed out that just as when the Berlinale launched in 1951, at a time when the city was still very much marked by the scars of war and heaving with refugees, its raison d’etre now is to foster understanding. “As we did then, we need this now, to encourage understanding between religions, philosophies, between countries. We want to continue to be a lobby for relevant topics,” he said.
—– (Source : The Guardian)



(Courtesy :

One of the front-runners to receive the prestigious Golden bear award is Fuocoammare (Fire at Sea), a two-hour documentary by Italian director Gianfranco Rosi. Shot over a year on the Italian island of Lampedusa, the film documents the stories of the islanders struggling to make ends meet and the thousands of refugees arriving on the island in search of fairer shores. The film is partly shot in the claustrophobic hold of a boat which claimed dozens of refugees’ lives due to asphyxiation. Closeup scenes show refugees dying in their own filth, and other harrowing details not shown on mainstream media.