Posted by Larry Gleeson
ACTIVITIES FOR AND WITH REFUGEES DURING THE 67TH BERLINALE
In 2017 the Berlin International Film Festival will again work towards furthering the integration of refugees. The Festival has always made a point of fostering understanding, tolerance, and acceptance, as well as responding to current events in society – not only with its film program, but also with many other activities.
The Berlinale will renew its collaboration with KulturLeben Berlin in order to promote the participation of the socially disadvantaged in the cultural life of the city. Tickets for vacant seats will again be available to people with low incomes at a 50 percent discount.
Last year several concrete projects were launched to support refugees. Due to the very positive feedback of the participants and the desire to achieve longer-lasting integration, these projects will be continued and expanded.
A call for donations
The Berlinale would like to urge Festival guests and visitors to make donations to the children and youth department of Zentrum ÜBERLEBEN (formerly called the Behandlungszentrum für Folteropfer e. V.). This Berlin-based centre provides psychological, social, and integrative support to children and adolescents who have been traumatized by torture, flight, and/or persecution. In addition to individual therapeutic care, group activities are an important feature of the centre’s work. The money collected last year enabled adolescents who have experienced flight and trauma to attend a film camp. There they were able to try out different positions in front of and behind the camera, and creatively explore topics of their choice, some of which were autobiographical.
Donations may be paid into an account (banking details are at the bottom of this press release) or made at 17 donation boxes distributed around the Festival grounds.
Movie mentors for refugees
Within the scope of a “movie mentoring”-project, volunteers from Berlin’s non-profit refugee aid organizations are asked to register as mentors and accompany refugees to Berlinale screenings.
With this project the Berlinale wants to show its appreciation to volunteers for their engagement and strengthen existing relationships, as well as promote cultural exchange.
LOLA at the Berlinale
Within the scope of a collaboration with the Berliner Volkshochschulen (VHS: schools for adult education), the Berlinale is offering 160 free tickets to VHS “integration classes” and their instructors. They will be able to select from eight German films screening in the LOLA series of the Berlinale at the Zoo Palast.
During the Berlinale around 20 guest trainees who came to Germany as refugees will be given the chance to take a look at various fields behind the scenes of the Festival in collaboration with the Beratungs- und Betreuungszentrum für junge Flüchtlinge und Migrant*innen (BBZ/ KommMit e.V.).
Generation: School projects for “welcome classes”
For eleven years now, the Generation section has offered pupils the opportunity to participate within the framework of a school project in the Berlinale. With educational staff that is well versed in cinema, these pupils may see and discuss films, as well as work on assignments about them afterwards.
Since last year, the Berlinale’s school program has been extended to include “welcome classes” (introductory German language classes for refugees). This year ten “welcome classes” are to participate in the program.
Banking details for donations:
Zentrum ÜBERLEBEN GmbH
Bank für Sozialwirtschaft
IBAN: DE82 1002 0500 0001 5048 00
Reason for transfer: “Berlinale helps 2017”
(Source: Berlinale press Office)