FREE project will put refugees’ film-making in focus

A still from a film from the first series of workshops in 2023 - shows a sunset and two people in silhouette
A still from a film from the first series of workshops in 2023

Academic staff from Lancaster University’s Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts (LICA) are leading a film-making course for asylum seekers and refugees in the local area this summer.

Over four weeks, Professor Bruce Bennett (Film Studies), Dr Maryam Ghorbankarimi (Film Studies) and Professor Emma Rose (Fine Art) are delivering a course, entitled FREE (Film-making with RefugEEs.), which incorporates a field trip to Blackpool, lectures on film history and style and training workshops on camera operation, sound recording and editing.

Working in groups under the supervision of the LICA staff leading the project, the participants will borrow a camera kit to shoot and edit a set of short films.

At the end of the project the short films will be shared in a free screening at 2pm on June 18 at The Dukes cinema in Lancaster during International Refugee Week, along with work produced in the 'Digital Stories' workshops run by Lancaster-based education development charity, Global Link.

This is the second iteration of the project, which ran successfully with AHRC funding last summer (and a selection of the films produced last year can be found here), and it draws directly on the research expertise of the three academic leads.

Bruce Bennett is working on a monograph, Refugee Cinema (Oxford University Press, forthcoming), and Maryam Ghorbankarimi is a filmmaker and academic whose publications focus on Middle East cinema and politics, while Emma Rose has extensive experience of designing and running co-creation workshops with asylum seekers and torture victims.

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