The film festival
Night falls on a remote corner of the Sahara Desert. Above, a canopy of stars. A film projector cranks up. The crowd quietens. After a few seconds, an immense screen comes to life.
The Western Sahara International Film Festival begins.
For the next few days, thousands of refugees will watch movies about places never seen, cultures never experienced, people never encountered. They will debate and interact. They will train with top filmmakers in the art of screenwriting, directing, filming or editing.
Maybe, just for a few hours, they will also forget their long wait for justice, the blurred promise of a return to a homeland that never seems to come.
More importantly, they will also feel that someone, somewhere, still cares.
The annual Western Sahara International Film Festival (FiSahara) brings entertainment, culture and hope to the Western Sahara´s refugees, who have lived in exile for over three decades. Visitors to the festival include international filmmakers, writers and musicians, journalists and people interested in the refugees' plight.
The festival is held in the Dakhla camp and lasts about five days. It holds day and night time film screenings for all audiences, as well as roundtables and filmmaking workshops. It also includes parallel cultural activities such as concerts, a cultural festival and children's activities.
In addition, visitors to the camps stay with Sahrawi families and visit thecamp's clinics, schools and municipal offices.
Click here to learn more about this year´s film screenings
Click here to learn more about this year´s cultural programming