Opening Ceremony and Opening Film Wednesday, 27.09., 7.30 p.m., Q&A with Vanessa Redgrave
“Sea Sorrow” marks Vanessa Redgrave’s debut as a film director, with her son, Carlo Nero, as producer. She tells her own story beginning as a two-year-old 'evacuee' from London at the outset of World War Two; later as a student volunteer helping Hungarian refugees; concluding with her return to Lebanon to visit Palestinian three-year-olds in a refugee camp nursery school.
Lord Alf Dubs, the Labour peer, reflects on his escape from the Nazi occupation on the Kindertransport and explains why he is passionate about assisting child refugees to gain their rightful protection in the UK. Alf has inspired people all over the country to do what they can to help the refugee children.
Sir Peter Sutherland, who has been advising the UN General Secretary on international refugee protection explains simply and forcefully why European governments must not break the conventions on asylum for refugees.
Ralph Fiennes, Emma Thompson and Simon Coates contribute unique scenes for the refugees, while the valiant Juliet Stevenson, who spent nine months working for the Calais children, alongside Help Refugees, Citizens UK and Safe Passage, speaks out at a rally in Parliament Square. The film includes a scene from Shakespeare’s The Tempest with Fiennes playing Prospero. As well as artistic interpretations, the film includes testimonies of modern day survivors from conflicts and persecution in the Middle East and Africa.
Vanessa Redgrave is a Special Representative for the United Nations Childrens Fund. Since 1993 she has worked in Sarajevo, Belgrade, Zagreb, in Slovenia and Macedonia during the war; and in Kosovo in 1998 and 1999 with UNICEF and the Mother Theresa Society.
She is a long standing supporter of a number of Russian human rights societies, including MEMORIAL, The Sakharov Foundation and ‘For Human Rights’. In 1999, with her brother Corin, she founded the International Campaign for Peace and Human Rights in Chechnya.
She works for the rights of asylum seekers and refugees with UNHCR.
In 2004 she worked with UNRWA in the Gaza Strip and West Bank, and with Eyal Bloch and Amos Mokadi for OLYMPEACE. She is a passionate supporter of the West East Divan Orchestra.
She has financed and produced documentary films including: The Palestinians (1977), Can’t We Put Human Beings First (1991 for UNICEF’s emergency appeal for Iraqi children). Children’s Stories: Chechnya (2000) and Russia/Chechnya: Voices of Dissent (2005).