University of Sussex Media Release.

15 February 2000
For immediate release

With the film East is East riding high in the UK and following the earlier success of Beautiful People, the Sussex Centre for Migration Research is delving deeper into the phenomenon of cinema that depicts the lives of migrants. On Friday 25 February, a group of film directors, producers and critics will join academics at the University of Sussex for a conference that examines the progress of 'cinema of migration'.

The conference will cover film-making by Arab, Asian, Bosnian and Latin American migrants and will include the screening of a number of short films.

The programme includes:

  • Ziad El Khouzai (writer and critic) and Mohamed Maklouf (Executive Director of the Arab Screen Independent Film Festival) talking about Arab cinema of exile
  • Cary Sawhney (Project Leader for Cultural Diversity, British Film Institute) and Dr Atif Ghani (sociologist and producer) talking about the future for Asian independent film-making in the UK
  • Patricia Diaz (film-maker), who will screen her new short film Two Margaritas and talk about Latin American diaspora cinema
  • Ben Woolford (producer) and Jasmin Dizdar (director, participation to be confirmed), who will talk about their film Beautiful People, which depicts the lives of Bosnians in London and their perspective on the war in the Balkans.

There will also be screenings of My Journey, My Islam (Australia, 1999) by Kay Rasool, which premièred in the UK at the 43rd London Film Festival, World Cinema, and short films presented during the last Arab Screen Independent Film Festival (London, 1998): Born without Skis (by Noureddine Lakhamari, 1996)and Still Life (by Kutaiba al-Janabi, 1997 - in the presence of the director). Black September (by Ruba Nadda, 1999) will be a première in the UK.

Dr Richard Black, the Centre's co-Director, said: "This promises to be a major conference, bringing together migrant film-makers from around the world. The popularity of East is East has shown how there is public interest in understanding the lives of migrants through the medium of film."

The conference is being organised by Mariagiulia Grassilli on behalf of the Sussex Centre for Migration Research. Admission is by ticket only.

For further information please contact Dr Richard Black, tel. 01273 877090, fax 01273 623572, email:

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