Building on its success over the last years, we are pleased to present the 9th UNHCR Refugee Film Festival.
Japan continues to be an extremely important and generous partner and supporter of UNHCR, assisting UNHCR's operations worldwide, not only through financial and in-kind contributions but also through the work of extremely motivated and talented individuals who continue to make tremendous contributions to the cause of refugees in all corners of this world.
This year, thanks to the support of a wide range of partners and sponsors, it is my great pleasure to announce that the UNHCR Refugee Film Festival will expand beyond Tokyo and include film screenings in Sapporo and Nishinomiya. We very much hope that the people in Hokkaido and Hyogo will appreciate this opportunity to see films depicting different displacement situations.
At the end of 2013, more than 51 million individuals were forcibly displaced outside or inside their own country around the world. This is the highest number of people ever counted in the post-World War II era to leave their homes and seek protection elsewhere.
Through a selection of drama and documentaries from across the globe, the Film Festival aims to raise awareness of these refugees, internally displaced persons and stateless people, and shed light on their situation, their fears, despair and loss, but also on their hopes, extraordinary courage, resilience and successes.
What you will see on screen is not just fiction. The 'stories' you see are actually part of day-to-day life – too often invisible – at places not far from where we are.
We generally do not think about it, but their fate could be ours. I sincerely hope these films will bring their lives closer to you and that the stories will deepen our understanding and compassion for them. They certainly need and deserve it!
UNHCR Representative in Japan
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) provides protection and assistance to the world's refugees since 1951. People of concern to UNHCR include refugees, asylum seekers, refugees who have returned home, stateless people and internally displaced persons (IDPs). In more than six decades, UNHCR has helped tens of millions of people restart their lives, earning two Nobel Peace Prizes in the process-in 1954 and 1981. Today, some 8,600 staff in more than 125 countries help some 42.9 million people.
The UNHCR Office in Tokyo works with the Japanese Government, as well as non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and the private sector to support refugees, both worldwide and in Japan.