Journeys Into Film presents a rousing and reflective programme of short films made by filmmakers with refugee heritage.


A fantastic programme of five especially selected films that offer both artistic intrigue and an injection of the reality of displacement and seeking refuge. This selection of contemporary short films looks to collective experiences of displacement, focusing on the stories of the sounds, languages, histories and memories which shape our relationship to space and identity.


Produced by charity ArtReach, Journeys Into Film is a fresh and contemporary strand, developed after 8 years of the annual Journeys Festival International festival. The programme is supported and made possible by Film Hub North and Film Hub Midlands, awarding National Lottery funding on behalf of the BFI Film Audience Network. With their continued support, Journeys Into Film is able to exhibit a selection of bold, experimental, and intimate films which articulate the voices of their makers’ lived experiences, resonating with audiences across the country.


The films include The Little Whale on the Beach by Parang Khezri, My Name is Anik by Bircan Birol, Ambience by Wisam Al-Jafari, Birds or Borders by Parham Ghalamder and This is Not a Poem by Eric Ngalle Chrles and Greg Lewis. You can read more about each film below.


To find out more and to book this exciting new programme, please contact Dan Williamson, Senior Producer, at dan@artreach.biz


Total Running Time: 62 mins

Year: 2021

BBFC Classification: All films are classified U

Little Whale on the Beach - Parang Khezr.jpg

The Little Whale on the Beach

Dir: Parang Khezri 2018

Duration: 8 mins | Country: UK | Rating:


A montage of real refugee stories, The Little Whale on the Beach explores history repeating itself, as a child explores a dreamland on sandy shores. Surreal, explorative and playful in style, Parang Khezi’s experimental film was created collaboratively for Journeys Festival International; this was a pertinent and personal story for the director and the crew.


My Name is Anik

Dir. Bircan Birol 2020

Duration: 15.29 mins |Country: UK | Rating:

Filmmaker Bircan Birol embarks on a mission to learn Kurdish from her grandmother Anik, as she lives in Turkey and goes by her Turkified name Belguzar. My Name Is Anik explores the complicated effort of grasping her mother tongue, as Anik reflects on painful and poignant memories. This intimate depiction of Birol and her grandmother reveals a glimpse of the joining of language, culture and identity



Dir: Wisam Al-Jafari 2018

Duration: 15.20 mins | Country: Palestine | Rating:


Two young people attempt an impossibly absurd venture, finding a space to record music inside their camp. In this bid to win a Music competition, their drive for success pushes the two to work more creatively than they first considered. Wisam Al-Jafari’s Ambience highlights the frustration and chaos of life under occupation.


Birds or Borders

Dir: Parham Ghalamdmar 2020

Duration: 6.12 mins |Country: UK | Rating:


Free-thinking and free form animation produced by artist Parham Ghalamdmar, Birds or Borders explore expanded painting and drawing, stretching out each technique with vibrant digital tools. The film borrows from the COVID-19 context to demonstrate how lack of freedom is no new thing for migrants.


This Is Not a Poem

Dir: Eric Ngalle Charles and Greg Lewis 2018

Duration: 16.55 mins | Country: UK | Rating:


As we follow Eric Ngalle Charles through the varied Welsh Countryside, This Is Not A Poem is a reflection on exile and the overlapping stories of migration. With offerings of several languages, voices and rhythms, this film moves between Eric’s arresting storytelling and dramatic landscapes as he finds his roots in a new home.

Journeys into Film is supported collectively by Film Hub North and Film Hub Midlands, awarding National Lottery funding on behalf of the BFI Film Audience Network. We would like to take the opportunity to thank the Film Hub for their ongoing advice and contributions throughout the year. Developed by ArtReach, who produce Journeys Festival International, Journeys into Film is an opportunity to further support filmmakers and audiences with experiences of displacement or seeking asylum.

With special thanks to the Filmmakers, and Crosscut Media this entire programme is made possible by the artistic and material contributions of each of our partners.