The second annual film festival features 13 award-winning movies, showing at 11 venues and with 18 guests raising social awareness through the power of film.
There is screening of award-winning documentaries, films and virtual reality experiences at iconic venues, including the Children & Mothers Welfare Society, Cultural Hall, Bahrain International Circuit, Water Garden City, Bahrain School, Cafe Amsterdam, Art Reach Bahrain, Durrat Al Bahrain, Gulf Hotel, Bahrain Bay and Oliveto Restaurant. Special events to accompany each screening are designed to bring filmmakers, inspirational speakers and audiences together to engage in discussion and raise awareness and funds for refugee programmes in Greece.
Like so many great ventures, the inaugural Building Bridges Film Festival in November 2016 was inspired by a simple conversation. Eman provides psycho-social support for Syrian refugees in Germany and was moved to design a fundraiser for Syrian refugee initiatives. She discussed the idea with fellow humanitarians, Tessa O’Neil and Munira Al Shaikh. Tessa made the introduction to Mohab Khattab, Bahrain resident and producer of the award-winning documentary, Salam Neighbor, and he in turn suggested a charitable documentary film festival.
Under the auspices of the Children & Mothers Welfare Society, Building Bridges was conceived to connect people across cultures, nationalities and religions through the power film, inspiring dialogue and discussion. As a result of last year’s efforts, Building Bridges raised enough money to support a shelter for unaccompanied refugee children in Athens, sponsor day trips for refugee children in Germany and Greece, purchase and deliver heaters for a refugee camp near Athens and deliver clothing and gift cards for refugees in Germany. The team continue to make regular trips to Athens to visit the shelters and offer psychotherapy services.
The first show is on November 1 with Watani: My Homeland at the Cultural Hall. On November 3 Speed Sisters shows at Bahrain International Circuit; November 4 sees Rising From Ashes at Water Garden City; and Salam Neighbor plays a private screening at the Bahrain School on November 5. On November 7 Carta A Una Sombra is at Café Amsterdam; Saving Banksy comes to Art Reach Bahrain on November 9; on November 10 Eagle Huntress/Skateistan plays at Durrat Al Bahrain; Hotel Salvation is at the Gulf Hotel on November 11; Swim Team is at the Arcapita Building Bahrain Bay on November 13; and, lastly, Oliveto hosts Poverty Inc on November 15. The screenings are accompanied by a variety of events from dinner parties to workshops and discussion sessions, so this is a great opportunity to experience some of the best documentaries while learning more about the craft and raising much-needed funds at the same time.