#RefugeeStories Short Film Competition

In June VIFF partnered with The Radcliffe Foundation to launch the Refugee Crisis “Call to Action” Short Film Competition. Filmmakers were encouraged to submit a film, up to 60 seconds in length, that would above all else “provide a tangible call to action and inspire Canadians to make a difference in the refugee crisis.”

Film is one of our most powerful tools. The moving image is the most persuasive medium, and in a contemporary culture dominated by commercial imagery, it can be challenging to make something that makes a difference. The competition created an avenue for filmmakers to direct their creativity toward social change.

The goal? Raise awareness and motivate Canadians to do their part in aiding the refugee crisis.

The reward? $20,000 and a screening at VIFF.

An esteemed jury comprised of some of the most notable names in the philanthropic, entertainment and media sectors has whittled the entries down to a list of three extraordinary finalists who have made films that have the power to inspire, engage and empower.

The jury:

Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, Public speaker, Advocate for Women’s issues and former television host

Sarah McLachlan, Award winning Artist, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist

Honourable Louise Arbour, CC, GOQ, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and former Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada

Craig Kielburger, Co-founder of Free The Children

Ivan Fecan, Executive Chair, Thunderbird Films Inc., and former Canadian media executive

Atom Egoyan, Acclaimed Canadian Director

Frank Giustra, President, Radcliffe Foundation and CEO, Fiore Group of Companies

Ryan Holmes, Founder and CEO, Hootsuite

Nicolas Moyer, Executive Director, Humanitarian Coalition

Now it’s your turn to vote on which “Call to Action” Short Film inspires you most! From September 14th – 23nd the public votes, so choose your favourite, tell your friends and help us spread the word about the issues refugees around the world are facing every day.

Congratulations to our finalists: Alexandru Nagy, Zeeshan Parwez and Michelé Hozer & Roxana Spicer. Here are the three films:

Helpful Hand, Alexandru Nagy 

The idea for the film came from the need to have the story be relatable.  Everyone can relate to wanting a better life for themselves. The little girl is a symbol mirroring the values and dreams of all children.” – Alexandru Nagy

Humanity by Zeeshan Parwez

More than focusing on showcasing refugees in the country, I had to create a narrative that talked about the dire need of support for the resettlement of these refugees and what obstacles they are facing.” – Zeeshan Parwez

Show the World by Michelé Hozer & Roxana Spicer

“We are first generation Canadians and as such we understand first hand what this country has to offer newcomers. And as filmmakers, we understand the power of film and how it can warm hearts and effect meaningful change. When we heard about the Radcliffe Foundation/VIFF contest we knew instantly that we could create a small film that would embody the Canadian spirit that has fueled the private sponsorship program all across Canada in order to engage others to join in.” – Michelé Hozer

Follow along on Facebook & Twitter at #RefugeeStories 

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