Stornoway joins Refugee Week celebrations with the screening of new film

Courage will be screened in An Lanntair.

Courage will be screened in An Lanntair.

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Arts lovers in Stornoway will be joining in Scotland’s Refugee Week celebrations on June 20 with the screening of a unique new short film, made by refugees living in Scotland.

An Lanntair is on board to screen the film on its release date of Monday, June 20 – marking World Refugee Day and the beginning of Refugee Week Scotland (June 20-26).

The powerful and moving short film, Courage: 60 Years of the UN Refugee Convention, has been made to mark the anniversary of the lifesaving Refugee Convention. It is being shown everywhere from Lerwick to the Lothians.

Courage features two refugees who both fled war and persecution, but who have very different stories. Rosa Sacharin, 86, came to Scotland as a Jewish refugee from the Nazis and Christian Kasubandi, 22, fled war and destruction in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Together, they tell us why the Refugee Convention – created in 1951 following the Second World War – is so vital in saving lives now and for the future.

Courage was made by a group of men and women who all came to Scotland seeking safety. The six filmmakers, from as far afield as Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo, researched, directed, filmed and produced the two-minute documentary.

A trailer is available now at www.youtube.com/refugeeweekscotland

Belinda McElhinney, Refugee Week Scotland coordinator, said: “Courage: 60 Years of the UN Refugee Convention isn’t just a brilliant short film, it’s an amazing achievement.

“Six men and women from refugee and asylum-seeking backgrounds had just three months to research, film and produce it, with support from Media Co-op. They’ve come up with a film that shows how important it is to protect people who’ve fled war and persecution.

“It’s really exciting that visitors to An Lanntair will be able to see the film on its release – it has already had rave reviews from politicians and actors alike.”

Roland Schilling, UNHCR representative to the UK, said: “In a world still encountering conflict and human rights violations, the 1951 Refugee Convention is one of few effective tools that can protect, restore dignity and provide a new home for millions of people. A pledge made by states to save the lives of many, the Convention is as essential today as it was 60 years ago.”

Courage: 60 Years of the UN Refugee Convention was made with the assistance of Media Co-op and Scottish Refugee Council, with support from the Big Lottery Fund.