For ARTE and her first documentary as a director, which we produced, actress & musician Katja Riemann went to the most famous refugee camp in Europe: Moria on Lesbos. Who knew that there is a film school there?
ReFOCUS Media Labs was founded in 2018 by the American, Douglas Herman and Sonia Nandzik from Poland. They teach young people in the refugee camp how to handle a photo and film camera. The students mainly learn the craft of fiction film, but in response to the circumstances on site they also produce reports. They work together with international broadcasters such as Al Jazeera, CNN and the BBC and are the ones who can report directly, in their own voices. That's what they learn at ReFOCUS Media Labs.
"What I want to try to do with my documentary," says Katja Riemann, "is to give the students a stage to talk about their studies, their passion for film and the opportunities they get in the camp through ReFOCUS Media Labs. A filmmaker reports on filmmakers. In this way, as if by accident, we get an insight into their lives in the refugee camp and learn about the challenges they face on a daily basis."
Katja Riemann has been travelling to NGO projects all over the world for 20 years. She campaigns for human rights, is an an ambassador for UNICEF and is also a storyteller. She has recorded her encounters in her book, "Jeder hat. Niemand darf".
Written and directed by Katja Riemann
DoP and Editor: Michele Gentile
Sound: Zora Butzke
Music: Michele Gentile and Katja Riemann
Producer: Alix François Meier
Commissioning Editors ARTE: Philippe Brachet, Christiane Waitz, Uwe-Lothar Müller
Production ARTE: Anne-Florence Garnier, Carine Ebeling, Alain Goessel
Editorial Office: Philippe Brachet