‘Refugee Voices in Film’ at Cannes Docs 2023


‘Refugee Voices in Film’ at Cannes Docs 2023

Now in its sixth edition, Refugee Voices in Film returns to the Marche du Film in Cannes. Supporting the ongoing effort to spotlight the experience of refugees and displaced persons and to urge immediate action and long-term responses, UNHCR and IEFTA provide filmmaking tools and training to those affected, inviting them to tell their stories in moving images and sound.

The UNHCR places great importance on supporting educational and cultural initiatives within affected communities as a crucial part of its overall efforts to provide care and assistance to those who have been displaced from their homes and to address the root causes of forced migration.

Event Line-Up

SAT 20 MAY 2023

11:30 AM

PALAIS J (level 4)






The film program commences at 11.30 am in Screening Room Palais J, located on level 4 of the Palais, on the 20th of May 2023, followed by an informal Q&A attended by some of the films’ directors, along with delegates from the UNHCR.

This event is open to accredited members only and market/festival badges are required for admittance.


Finally, to wrap things up, in conjunction with Arab Cinema Center/Mad Solutions (Egypt), IEFTA will be co-sponsoring an evening cocktail party and networking event on the Saturday evening at the “Plage de Palmes” , Cannes.


IEFTA presents a selection of the years most powerful and affecting films that reveal the untold stories of those forced to flee their homes and nations.

1. The Future Depends on Us

In The Future Depends on Us, Prince Lokendo, a Congolese refugee living in Malawi, narrates a film about the global situation of displaced persons that he also wrote & produced in partnership with UNHCR.

Directed by : UNHCR
Produced by: Prince Lokendo

2. The Unknown

The Unknown is a portrait of devastation told through what refugees bring with them when they embark on perilous journeys in search of safty. In this silent film montage the most mundane possessions float across the screen, the humans having drowned for whom they were precious.

Directed by: Petros Mebrahtu
Produced by:
Abel Z Habtu & Sandra Gysi

3. Metamorphosis

Metamorphosis highlights the experiences and vulnerabilities that women who are forced to flee undergo. This true story focuses on the experience of an Eritrean girl who shaves her head and dresses as a boy to avoid being abused by her smuggler in her attempt to escape from her country.

Directed by: Henok Tesfu
Produced by: Abel Z Habtu & Ahmed Abdel Mohsen

4. Mosaic

In Mosaic, an Eritrean refugee working in Sudan is accused of theft and imprisoned for weeks before the actual culprit is identified, her pain, vulnerability and terror finding expression in the exquisite mosaic artworks she assembles.

Directed by: Awghet Tesfom
Produced by: Abel Z Habtu & Shallala Samhan

5. Sara

In Sara, an Eritrean filmmaker expresses the sadness and resolve of a woman tormented by memories of lover who left for Europe 7 years ago and has not been heard from since.

Directed by: Nahom Abraham

6. Portrait of a Stranger

Portrait of a Stranger is a series of interviews with refugees from around the world which serves as a collective portrait of human fragility and fortitude. Creating a visual vocabulary through photography and film, Portrait of Stranger explores the universal truths of the human spirit – the desire to be free, to be safe, to be respected, to belong.

Directed by: Platon
Produced by: Anadil Hossain

More info?

For more information or to find out more about attending any of the events listed above, please email info@iefta.org