The evening will feature poems written and performed by Write to Life, the world’s only long running creative writing group for survivors of torture, and showcase five outstanding short films touching on the themes of borders, displacement and resilience.

This will be followed by a panel Q&A with filmmakers Samin Saadat, Klaas Diersmann, Mohammadreza Shademan, Ara Devine, A. Bahiyyih Wain and distinguished guests, with an open discussion on the lack of safe and legal routes to the UK that forces refugees to embark on dangerous and harrowing journeys.


Ten Weeks (Reza Shademan)
Young married illegal migrants, torn apart during the harrowing journey, meet at their destination after ten weeks apart and face the unforeseen devastating impact on their lives.

TURF (Ara Devine)
A ferryman and a Syrian asylum seeker spend a day working on a bog with a complicated journey across the Irish border.

A Day in February (Klaas Diersmann)
In another country, far away from her family, one phone call is all Galyna has to ensure their safety.

Matar (Hassan Akkad)
Experience the powerful story of Matar, as he confronts the harsh realities of the UK’s broken asylum system, and fights to rebuild his life against all odds.

Khar (Samin Saadat)
A refugee is not quite himself when he gets washed ashore on the coast of Dover and finds himself quickly taken advantage of.


About the Filmmakers

Samin Saadat 
Samin Saadat was born in Tehran, Iran and fled to the UK to seek asylum in 2000. He is a filmmaker who has produced and directed a variety of short and feature films, some of which have gone on for nomination at award ceremonies such as Palm Springs Festival and Galway Film Fleadh.

Klaas Diersmann (director)
An award-winning filmmaker who crafts unique stories with an immersive quality. Receiving a Young Director Award in Cannes and screening his films internationally at Oscar and BAFTA-qualifying festivals, Klaas is passionate about changing perceptions, challenging norms, and raising awareness of important issues, with his work touching on everything from mental health to artificial intelligence and tech obsession. Klaas’ recent projects include an art collaboration exhibiting at the 2023 Venice Architectural Biennale and the co-development of a high end TV series set in the near future.

Alexandra Bahiyyih Wain (writer)
As an Iranian-British screenwriter, diversity is central to Alexandra’s work. Her award-winning shorts BEBE AI, (dir. Rebekah Fortune), Pas de Deux and A Walk Home have all been selected for several BAFTA and Oscar-qualifying festivals. Her most recent short A Day in February (dir. Klaas Diersmann) will have its world premiere at Palm Springs International Film Festival’s Short Fest 2023, where it is also selected for competition. She has two screenplays optioned by Disney’s 20th Digital / HULU. She is a member of BAFTA Connect and the Writers Guild, and co-founder of Micro Short Films.
Ara Devine 
Ara Devine is an award-winning Irish artist and filmmaker. After graduating from the National College of Art and Design in Dublin his films have received numerous awards and nominations. In 2017, his film The Irish Question was shortlisted for the RDS Visual Art Awards. His debut narrative short, Turf, won special recognition for Debut Irish Short at the Oscar-qualifying Foyle Film Festival and Best Short Fiction at Louth International Film Festival, and has screened at over a dozen international film festivals. His films have received funding and commissions from the British Council, BBC/Make Film History and Future Screens NI.
Reza Shademan
Reza Shademan was born in 1984 on the coast of the Persian Gulf. He moved to the UK in 2011 to pursue a Masters degree in Cyber Security – upon arriving in London, he was drawn to Iranian theatre and worked as an actor with various UK-based Iranian theatrical groups. With a true passion for the performing arts, he has brought numerous characters to life on screen and stage, captivating audiences with his remarkable talent and versatility. Reza has also developed a keen interest in filmmaking and the art of direction. He recently made a short film titled TEN WEEKS.