Documentary – WFA / RFP (Refugee Exodus to the North West)

The Workers Film Association (WFA) offered support, training and resources to filmmakers, they also acted as producers to one of our very early documentaries Refugee Exodus To The North West. This documentary delved into the lives of refugees in Manchester, asking what their experiences were of merging into a new community that wasn’t necessarily very welcoming. This is a hot topic for RFP and one we feel very strongly meets our aims and goals of featuring social and inclusion issues.

RFP became involved and production-managed this documentary because of a belief that this group of people suffer greatly from the stigma and over-generalisation of their status. The documentary utilised Community Arts Northwest’s annual long standing Exodus Festival of film and music as a backdrop to the film, and a basis and source for many interviews infusing musicians, actors and dancers. The documentary seeks to show this minority group as a positive and productive part of the North West community.

RFP selected interviewees based on cross sections of culture, gender and age, including one who arrived as an ‘unaccompanied minor‘. Conversations focused on initial experiences of Britain, how adjusted were made and  new lives created. Our interviewees talked about becoming valued members of British communities, how they created new social circles and ‘families’ and laid down new roots in a new country they now call home.

The documentary, while uplifting and inspiring, was often difficult as we heard harrowing stories of why our interviewees left their homes and their complex journeys to the UK, we proceeded with care and respect for the difficult times many had already experienced.

The documentary was very well received, initially being invited to be screened at the Cornerhouse (now Home), Manchester, followed by a later invitation to become part of the 0161Manchester event at Manchester’s acclaimed museum space Urbis, for a period of 3 months.

For general information on our ‘Documentary + Fiction’ video work please click here