June 8, 2016 – Vancouver – National Film Board of Canada (NFB)
Starting June 20, World Refugee Day, a new National Film Board of Canada documentary, 19 Days, will offer an inside look at Canada’s refugee resettlement process, and stream free of charge at NFB.ca.
Written and directed by filmmakers Asha and Roda Siad, this 26-minute film follows refugee families from Burundi, Sudan and Syria during their first 19 days in Canada. It was filmed at the Margaret Chisholm Resettlement Centre—located in the quiet Calgary neighbourhood of Bridgeland—which welcomes waves of visitors from war-torn countries.
The Centre is the starting point for government-assisted refugees who arrive in the city. While many Bridgeland residents do not even know it exists, for the refugees living there, it is their entire world, as they navigate an unfamiliar terrain that has suddenly become their home.
19 Days reveals the human side of the refugee resettlement process. A unique look at the global migration crisis and one particular stage of asylum, it lays plain the realities faced on the difficult road toward integration.
The film is produced and executive-produced by David Christensen for the NFB’s North West Studio, based in Edmonton.
The daughters of Somali refugees who came to Canada in the 1990s, Asha and Roda recently completed the Amnesty International Canada Media Award winner Living at the Border, an interactive documentary that explores the experiences of African migrants and refugees in Italy.
Asha Siad is an award-winning Somali-Canadian journalist and documentary filmmaker. Together with her sister, Roda, she runs Borderless Films, an independent production company dedicated to creating films that promote social change. Their projects include Living at the Border and Beyond the Silence. Her work has appeared both on television and in print. Asha received the Images and Voices of Hope Award of Appreciation in 2015 and was honoured by the Alberta Council for Global Cooperation in 2016.
Roda Siad is a documentary filmmaker and community developer who joined forces with her sister, Asha, in 2013 to establish Borderless Films, an independent production company that promotes social change through creative storytelling. In 2012, Roda was named one of the Top 20 Emerging Filmmakers at the Reel World Film Festival. She co-produced Living at the Border, a multimedia project about African migrants and refugees in Italy that won a 2014 Amnesty International Media Award. Her extensive experience in community development and working with immigrants and refugees informs her film projects.
Margaret Chisholm Resettlement Centre
NFB’s North West Studio
Online Screening Room: NFB.ca