Ottawa, ON – Canadian philanthropist Frank Giustra and his foundation, The Radcliffe Foundation, will host the premiere of his new film Inside My Heart alongside Canadian director Debra Kellner, in Ottawa on Monday May 7th.
The documentary humanizes the global refugee crisis impacting more than 22.5 million people, over half of them children and more than 65 million forcibly displaced. It grew from Giustra’s own trips to Greece – where he saw the plight of refugees first hand – and follows the stories of several individuals as they search for safety after fleeing their war-torn countries.
“Part of our Foundation’s mission is to encourage other countries to adopt Canada’s innovative sponsorship model that allows groups of ordinary citizens to support a refugee family,” says Giustra. “This film takes you into the lives of refugees, showing both the hardship they face and their courage. Inside My Heart shows why we all need to open our hearts to refugees.”
Inside My Heart is produced by Frank Giustra, and French film-makers Serge LaLou and Richard Copans. It is directed by Canadian Debra Kellner
The premiere will be screened at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. The sold-out event is co-hosted by Giustra, The Honourable Ahmed Hussen Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship for the Government of Canada, and The Global Refugee Sponsorship Initiative.
Canadian Filmmaker Debra Kellner spent almost three years capturing the lives of the three families, during a peak moment of the refugee crisis in Europe.
“The intent of Inside My Heart,” says Kellner, “is to reach millions of viewers throughout Canada and around the world, to let them understand this humanitarian crisis through the eyes of ordinary refugees – the pain, the fear, the courage and the bonds of family.”
The global refugee crisis is one of the world’s most pressing problems. The number of refugees around the world today is higher than at any time since the Second World War. The Global Refugee Sponsorship Initiative (GRSI) aims to grow protection opportunities for refugees through community sponsorship programs. It is a partnership between the Radcliffe Foundation and the Government of Canada, the UNHCR, the Open Society Foundations, and the University of Ottawa. GRSI is chaired by Professor Jennifer Bond.
“For almost forty years, Canada was the only country with a community sponsorship program,” says Bond. “Today the Global Refugee Sponsorship Initiative is supporting the development or implementation of programs in the UK, Argentina, New Zealand, Germany, and Ireland, and encouraging interest in approximately 15 more countries. Canada – and the Canadian sponsors who welcome and integrate refugees into their own neighbourhoods– are truly a model for the world.
For further information on the following, please contact:
The Radcliffe Foundation
Global Refugee Sponsorship Initiative
Contact: Amy Bartlett – firstname.lastname@example.org