Festival of Tolerance – JFF Zagreb in partnership with UNHCR Croatia spent the autumn traveling all across Croatia, showing films and discussing about them with students in Karlovac, Poreč, Slavonski Brod and Split. The film we presented to our guests is "My Dreams, My Rights", which was filmed by children at the Zataari Camp in Jordan, where more than eighty thousand refugees are waiting for better tomorrow. "My Dreams, My Rights" was created as a result of a film workshop sponsored by the nonprofit organizations "Voices of the Children" and "Save the Children", which provided three weeks of film making experience to Syrian teenagers.
The workshop gave the refugees insight into the basics of documentary film making, and participants used their mobile phones as recording devices. The final result of the workshop is nine short documentaries fully captured by teenagers giving insight into how young people live in this refugee camp and what dreams do they have.
More than four hundred pupils watched the film with great care, and they were particularly impressed by the real experiences of people who work every day with refugees in Croatia (UNHCR spokesman in Croatia Jan Kapić and representatives of the Jesuit Refugee Service Nuri Al Ahmed and Mirna Ćaćić). The refugee life and all the problems that refugees face with the students was spoken by asylant Ahmad Emad Adil, who finally found his peace in Croatia, where he is studying, working and leading a normal and peaceful life.
Numerous questions and impressions are difficult to summarize in just a few sentences but messages written by students on the questionnaires are encouraging:
"It was interesting and everything was well explained, and the film was interesting and well-chosen. I understand the refugees in camps and Croatia better now."
"It is so sad these people have left their homes and now they have to live this way."
"How can we help?"
The next edition of the Film and Discussion is scheduled for December 3 in Varaždin, and by the end of the year we will meet once again with students in Zagreb.
Thanks to the primary schools "Banija" from Karlovac, "Poreč" from Poreč, "Antun Mihanović" from Slavonski Brod and Kinoteka Zlatna Vrata from Split for their hospitality and to UNHCR for our partnership.