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Refuge through film

U.N. fest features 18 free screenings

Starting one month after World Refugee Day (June 20), the U.N. Refugee Agency presents for the first time in Japan the Refugee Film Festival running through July 27.

Eighteen films both about and by refugees, including documentaries, feature films and animated films, will be screened free of charge at four Tokyo venues — L’Institut-Franco-Japonais de Tokyo in Shinjuku, the Goethe-Institut Tokyo in Akasaka, the Swedish Embassy Auditorium in Roppongi and the Istituto Italiano di Cultura in Chiyoda. Films will be screened with English subtitles.

Six screenings feature special appearances. These include Mizue Furui, director of “Ghada — Songs of Palestine” on July 25 (7 p.m.); a guest speaker from the Japanese nongovernmental organization TPAC for the screening of “Innocence” (July 22, 3 p.m. and July 24, 7 p.m.) set in Thailand’s northern mountain villages; and a presentation by Peace Winds Japan for the 2001 French-Iranian production “Kandahar” (July 27, 7 p.m.) that follows a young female journalist’s return to Afghanistan.

There will also be an appearance by Benoit Duchateau-Arminjon at the screening of “Children of Krousar Thmey” (July 27, 7 p.m.). Duchateau-Arminjon is the founder of the Krousar Thmey Foundation, which was the first NGO to be set up in Cambodia following the fall of the Khmer Rouge regime.

For the complete schedule in English or Japanese, visit www.unhcr.or.jp