Moving Worlds is a film programme from Counterpoints Arts and Highlight Arts.

In 2017, we curated an exciting range of features and shorts from the UK, Syria, Switzerland, Italy, Sweden and Mali for Refugee Week. This year’s programme also focuses on the power of screen storytelling, paying special homage to films made ‘close’ to the current Syrian conflict. We are highlighting emerging filmmakers who in different ways capture the everyday, deeply personal and intimate experiences of Syrian nationals as they navigate new legal, sociocultural and geographical landscapes in search of safety.

We have also chosen a film this year, which chooses to turn its lens on the impact of human trafficking and tracks the journey of two young women who come back from dehumanizing experiences to advocate for change. 

The films as a whole communicate delicate yet dynamic stories of loss, resilience, solidarity, the fragility of community matched with the simultaneous desire to return and rebuild one’s ‘home-country’.

We invite you to screen any of these films in unusual places making your own makeshift ‘cinemas’ – from your kitchen, local park, community centre, to schools and workplaces (see Locations and our “How To” screening manual). We have also designed downloadable resources and post-screening guides to encourage lively conversations across all ages.

Our thanks to the creative and passionate filmmakers and producers who generously agreed to make their films available for Refugee Week 2018, Moving Worlds package.

Here’s how you can access the films:

  • Our partners have kindly offered their films for a special bargain rate of £50 screening fee for features and £20 for shorts;
  • You can watch short screeners and trailers for each film entry, to give you a taste of these stories and how they might work in your locations and with potential audiences;
  • In order to obtain a copy of your chosen film, visit the feature and short film pages and find the specific contact details of the filmmakers and producers/distributors. Please cite ‘Moving Worlds, special Refugee Week’ package in your email to them. Once you’ve chosen a film (or more), check out the post-screening resources to help navigate the public conversations.


Moving Worlds first ran in Dublin, Ireland (2008) as a collaboration between the Forum on Migration and Communications (FOMACS) and with support from the European Union National Institutes of Culture (EUNIC): Alliance Française, British Council, Goethe-Institut Ireland, Instituto Cervantes Dublin and the Austrian Embassy Dublin, in association with the Irish Film Institute.



2017, 34 mins

I Am Rebecca examines the existence and welfare of the American Dream through the life of Rebecca Mabior, A refugee living in Missouri.  
Rebecca is a mother, raising three children with her husband john.  She is a nurse, working as a labor and delivery RN in Kansas city, Missouri.  She is a homeowner, a devoted wife, and an activist, calling for equality at the Women’s March in Washington, D.C.  Rebecca is also a refugee, a person who escaped persecution and probable death for standing up to power in Sudan seventeen years ago. I Am Rebecca tells the story of this remarkable person as she revisits her past, assesses the present political climate in the United States, and advocates for the future of her family and other refugees.  The result is a subtle and deeply emotional examination of identity, displacement, and the fate of the American Dream.


2017, 14 mins

Syrian refugee camps are full of young widows finding themselves on foreign land, being sole heads of their households while trying to keep their family together. This short film transports us to a Lebanese camp through the eyes of a young spirited girl, Cidra.


2017, 11:27 mins

In transit through Athens, four women from the Middle East share their stories. They all left their countries at different times in their life and for different reasons. As they preferred not to be identified, only their voices are heard.




2017, 61 mins

A single mother shows us the consequences of closing America’s doors to families fleeing war. With no answer to her application for resettlement in the US, and every other path to safety closed off, a smuggler’s raft to Europe was the only way out. 8 Borders, 8 Days is her story; the intimate details of why a fiercely-determined mother is willing to risk her children’s lives for a better future and an immersive experience of their eight-day journey to safety.


2017, 93 mins

Sheetal and Saraswoti met as teenagers in a Kathmandu refuge, survivors of child trafficking to corrupt Indian circuses and brought back across the border to a Nepal they could barely remember.

EVEN WHEN I FALL traces their journey over 6 years as they confront the families that sold them, seek acceptance within their own country and begin to build a future. They struggle against the odds and without education, but inadvertently these girls were left with a secret weapon by their captors – their breath-taking skills as circus artists. With 11 other young trafficking survivors, Sheetal and Saraswoti form Circus Kathmandu – Nepal’s first and only circus. As they take the bold step of bringing an unrecognised art form to the stages of Nepal, they simultaneously challenge the deep-seated stigma against trafficked women.

They discover the courage to perform in front of growing crowds, but unexpectedly they also find the strength and will to address their past. We travel with them as they piece together broken memories in the rich beauty of the Kathmandu Valley, through the dusty poverty-stricken border towns of the Terai plains and finally to the bright lights of the famous Big Top at Glastonbury Festival. Through this personal journey they discover a sense of responsibility that comes with the stage – to use the crowd’s rapt attention to spread a message – to educate against modern slavery. When the devastating earthquakes hit Nepal they are drawn back to face its challenges with a new resolve.

An intimate, beautiful film that harnesses the visual power of circus to give a unique perspective into the complex world of human trafficking.



2017, 100 mins

What is it like to be in exile in a country that borders home? This documentary anthology, produced in workshops held in Beirut, Amman and Istanbul in 2017, reflects the diverse experiences of Syrian people displaced by the conflict.


For this special Refugee Week, Moving Worlds package, we have designed a “How To” screening manual that invites you to arrange screenings in unusual places. No matter how small or unorthodox, its worth bringing people into local spaces to watch films together. For more ideas you can access our Screening Guide special edition.