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NFB Marks World Refugee Day


(June 14, 2016 – Vancouver, BC) Mark June 20th on your calendars. That’s World Refugee Day and given the almost daily reports of human tragedy in the Mediterranean and the fact that Canada recently opened our arms and hearts to great numbers of Syrians, many of them refugees, this day and this topic should be top of mind. It certainly is at the National Film Board (NFB).

On June 20th, the NFB will post a new short documentary online titled 19 Days. Its an inside look at Canada’s refugee resettlement process and it will stream free of charge.

Written and directed by filmmakers Asha and Roda Siad, this 26-minute doc follows refugee families from Burundi, Sudan and Syria during their first 19 days in Canada. It was filmed at the Margaret Chisholm Resettlement Centre—located in the quiet Calgary neighbourhood of Bridgeland, which welcomes waves of visitors from war-torn countries.

19 Days, movie poster
Poster for 19 Days courtesy of the National Film Board (NFB). Used with permission.

The Centre is the starting point for government-assisted refugees who arrive in the city. While many Bridgeland residents do not even know it exists, for the refugees living there, it is their entire world, as they navigate an unfamiliar terrain that has suddenly become their home.

19 Days reveals the human side of the refugee resettlement process. A unique look at the global migration crisis and one particular stage of asylum, it lays plain the realities faced on the difficult road toward integration.

The film is produced and executive-produced by David Christensen for the NFB’s North West Studio, based in Edmonton.

The daughters of Somali refugees who came to Canada in the 1990s, Asha Siad and Roda Siad recently completed the Amnesty International Canada Media Award winner Living at the Border, an interactive documentary that explores the experiences of African migrants and refugees in Italy.

While this link is active, the documentary itself will not be available until June 20, World Refugee Day. We suggest you bookmark the page and visit 19 Days on or after that date.