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Secretly filmed documentary shows plight of refugees in Australian camp

Monday, October 09, 2017 - 01:59

New film ''Chauka, Please Tell Us The Time'' was filmed inside an Australian-run camp for refugees by one of its inmates. Saskia O'Donoghue reports

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It had a tiny budget, but it's making a huge impact. New film "Chauka, please tell us the time" was filmed on a single smart phone from inside a controversial Australian-run detention centre for asylum seekers Iranian Kurdish detainee Behrouz Boochani - who's been held since 2013 - filmed the entire project inside the camp. Sending the footage via messaging service Whatsapp to his co-director Arash Kamali Sarvestani Sarvestani was at the film's world premiere at the London Film Festival - and said the film was a struggle to make. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ARASH KAMALI SARVESTANI, CO-DIRECTOR OF "CHAUKA" SAYING: "It was a difficult project, a really difficult project because we were alone. We had no help. It was... I can say that this is maybe one of the most independent movies in the history of film-making. I, Behrouz and one smartphone, that's it. That's it." Unusually, the co-directors have never met. Boochani couldn't attend the London premiere as he is not allowed to leave Manus Island. The director of the film festival said the film is touching hearts. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CLARE STEWART, DIRECTOR OF THE BFI LONDON FILM FESTIVAL, SAYING: "We are used to news headlines, we read these stories all the time, but the absolute impact of something that is so profoundly close and very real and experienced by the person who is doing the filming, I think makes it much more resonant and much more powerful." Nearly 2,000 men, women and children are held on Manus Island and at another Australian-funded centre on the island of Nauru. While many have been given refugee status, some continue to be held. Australia is under increased pressure to resettle asylum-seekers from Manus Island because that centre is due to close by October 31.

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Secretly filmed documentary shows plight of refugees in Australian camp

Monday, October 09, 2017 - 01:59