12th UNHCR Refugee Film Festival 2017

Free admission


Jessica Michibata
NameJessica Michibata
ProfessionFashion Model/Actor
MesssageIn Japan, the word “refugee” may be heard or seen only on television news programs. However, even now many people are becoming refugees in numerous countries around the world.
With SNS developed as it is, we have access to whatever information we want. But we are far from knowing everything that we need to know. In this age of the widespread use of the internet and the need for true globalization, we should make an extra effort to learn about what is happening in the world.
I hope that the UNHCR Refugee Film Festival will be an opportunity for people in Japan to learn, feel and think about refugees, not as someone else’s problem happening on the other side of the world, but as a problem that is close to home.
Ken Mogi
NameKen Mogi
Professionneuroscientist, writer, and broadcaster
MesssageSome may think that the issue of refugees happen in some distant time and space. Actually, it is here and now. Humans have always been on the move, ever since the birth of the species in Africa. In that process, some people have been displaced, gone through hardships, and persevered. That's why we are here. To study, feel, and appreciate the difficulties faced by refugees is a necessary condition for us to prosper in decency. The courage, compassion, and ingenuity displayed by people involved in the refugee issue is a testimony of what we are capable of. The UNHCR Refugee Film Festival 2017 is a great opportunity to raise awareness of this crucial issue, and would help move the human species into a brighter future.
Zarny Shibuya
NameZarny Shibuya
ProfessionFashion Designer ・ Japan for UNHCR Public Relations Supporter
MesssageOur world is full of refugees who were forced to flee their homes and are even now continuing their march to search for a peaceful land. They go over skies, across seas, over mountains and under barbed wire fences to find a place where they can live in peace. But that does not mean that they will remain refugees for life.

Just as I was a refugee, it is possible that they can cease to be a refugee at any moment, even tomorrow. There is no need for them to remain refugees for life.

There may be differences in opinion regarding refugee issues, but whether pro or con, the important thing is to learn about refugees. Understanding is born only where there is interest and concern.

For those of us who are not refugees, getting to know them is the first step toward a solution. Needless to say, refugees must, in turn, act morally and with good manners. They should respect and cherish the land that has given them protection.

I believe that in order to build a future that leads to peace, we must break the vicious cycle by ending ethnic hatred and learning to share.

Once a person is born, he/she must live the life that was given him/her to the fullest. I must live my life to the fullest and you must live your life to the fullest. Just as no one has the right to interfere with your life, no one has the right to prevent the refugees from living their lives to the fullest.
Shinichi Mori
NameShinichi Mori
ProfessionSinger・Goodwill Artist for Refugees
MesssageInternally displaced persons who are exposed to civil war and enduring a harsh life of hunger, thirst and contagious diseases; refugees who fled from warfare in their home country and are forced to live a life of hardship in a foreign land; these displaced persons, together with those currently applying for refugee status, total 65.6 million, the largest number ever recorded.

Let’s take a moment to think about the stark reality of what is happening right now in various parts of the world to these friends with whom we share the earth. Shouldn't we lend a supporting hand to help them sustain the power to live?

I sincerely hope that each and every film selected for the UNHCR Refugee Film Festival this fall will promote an interest in and understanding of refugee issues and world peace which will then lead to a circle of support that grows bigger each day.
Natsuki Yasuda
NameNatsuki Yasuda
MesssagePeople who are suddenly and forcibly displaced from their homes must bear a life of multiple separations. The more I interview, the more I become aware that many refugees are unable to raise their own voices and to deliver them. That is why I hope that the films gathered for this festival will serve as a “loudspeaker” for those who fled in pain. Those of us who receive their messages--what are we asked to do? Let’s take this opportunity to share our thoughts.
ProfessionRadio DJ / MC / Writer / Japan for UNHCR Public Relations Supporter
MesssageWhat will you feel by watching this year's films? People who are called “refugees” have individual stories; no two are the same. Each has his or her own life to live and wishes to live it in peace. I hope that this Refugee Film Festival will lead you to better understand the refugee crisis and to provide you with the opportunity to take action.
Seiko Ito
NameSeiko Ito
ProfessionNovelist / Creator
MesssageThe world is overflowing with refugees.
The USA was originally founded by Puritans who fled England by ship. It is the same for Japan. The change from the Jomon Era to the Yayoi Era was brought about by people who arrived in Japan by sea.
In fact, world history is a history of refugees. Our present state, which is only tentative, is merely a result of various ethnic groups having been forced to move.
Given this background and in order to take a hard look at ourselves as we are today, we should listen to refugees'voices, take a good look at the way they are and help them. Because they are us.