Never before in human history has there been seen such a massive flow of refugees. Millions of people are fleeing because of their political opinions, religious beliefs or ethnicity. The refugee stream does not only affect a particular region, but all Europe and the rest of the world.
Exile filmmakers belong to all these refugees and portray their fates from within. They have succeeded in creating culturally prominent and artistic films that illustrate the global problem that the refugee situation is. But difficulties in distributing individual and non-commercial films made in exile, has as a consequence that they do not reach out to their audience. Thus the films are deprived the power they could have in influencing public opinion and individuals in society.
Work on the International Exile Film Festival began in 1992. Then was a committee formed of filmmakers and actors in exile to prepare the festival start. The Committee focused on the Iranians - one of the nationalities who are fleeing from their homeland. The first festival was held in Gothenburg 7 to 14 October 1993 under the heading "Iranian film in exile."
The Exile Film Festival was greeted with warmth and enthusiasm by visitors from many different ethnic groups. The public and the invited filmmakers were in complete agreement with the organizers that work on the festival must continue. Also it was broadened to include all filmmakers in exile, regardless of their national background. The idea of this is based on the common factors that apply to all filmmakers in exile ,
regardless of their national affiliation:
- All have fled from non-democratic powers and unjust societies.
- All have the samevision of the futureandwork fordemocracy, justice andequality, bothin their own countriesandaround the world.
- All face similar difficulties to get into the social life in their new home country.
In a collective forum like the Exile Film Festival, filmmakers will be able to work together and affect the popular education in order to achieve freedom and a just society. In this way the festival went beyond national borders to become an international manifestation. Since 1995 the festival has been carried out under the banner "The world is my home."
In cultural terms the film festival is a historical turning point for both exile filmmakers and the film world. Now Sweden with its Exile Film Festival is considered as a free zone for all exile filmmakers and as a new homeland where one appreciates multicultural work.