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World Premiere Of Documentary Feature BEHROUZ To Be Held In Christchurch

Feature documentary, ‘BEHROUZ’ will have its world premiere in Christchurch, New Zealand on Saturday, 11 June 2022, at the Isaac Theatre Royal. The screening will be held in partnership with Christchurch City Council, Screen CanterburyNZ and WORD Christchurch

The film tells the story of award-winning Kurdish journalist and writer Behrouz Boochani. He fled the Iranian regime, seeking asylum in Australia in 2013, only to be exiled to the offshore immigration detention centre on the remote Manus Island in Papua New Guinea. 

Behrouz narrates the story of his detention, and the struggle for freedom. The film follows him as he navigates life in detention, leads the resistance to indefinite detention and finally his life in Christchurch, New Zealand as a free man, after seven years of detention by the Australian and PNG governments on Manus Island.

 

Behrouz was front and centre of bringing the horror of detention to public notice, through his reports and writing, including his multi award winning book No Friend but the Mountains,”

Director Simon V Kurian

“Behrouz was front and centre of bringing the horror of detention to public notice, through his reports and writing, including his multi award winning book No Friend but the Mountains,” said the film’s director Simon V Kurian.

“In this film, he takes us into the detention centre, his life as a detainee, and his experience seeking asylum, it is an honour to have the premiere in Christchurch, the city where Behrouz got his freedom.” His book 'No Friend but the Mountains’ written while in detention on his mobile phone has become one of the most celebrated books in Australia in recent times, winning the most prestigious national literary award, the 2019 Victorian Prize for Literature.

He came to Christchurch at the invitation of WORD Christchurch for the 2020 festival. He was later granted asylum and became a familiar figure in the city spending the first year of his freedom here. He was the Writer in Residence for 2021 at the University of Canterbury and Senior Adjunct Research Fellow at the University’s Ngāi Tahu Research Centre.

“I see this film as a story about how we exposed a brutal system through writing and creating”, said Behrouz Boochani. “This film is about a long struggle to expose and challenge a system which is designed to dehumanise people who flee dictatorship and war. It is important that we have the first screening in Aotearoa New Zealand and Õtautahi Christchurch because this country and city are standing on the right side of history.”

Christchurch mayor Lianne Dalziel was pleased promoters chose to hold the world premiere in her city.

 

Ōtautahi Christchurch has a proud history of welcoming refugees to our city. As Mayor, I was honoured to personally welcome Behrouz when he arrived as a guest of the Word Christchurch Festival a little over two years ago.  I hoped from the very start that he would be able to stay. He was a genuine refugee, as well as an inspirational writer, and now he has found a home here in New Zealand.”

Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel

“Ōtautahi Christchurch has a proud history of welcoming refugees to our city. As Mayor, I was honoured to personally welcome Behrouz when he arrived as a guest of the Word Christchurch Festival a little over two years ago.  I hoped from the very start that he would be able to stay. He was a genuine refugee, as well as an inspirational writer, and now he has found a home here in New Zealand.”

“From his time evading Iranian authorities to the countless days spent in detention on Manus Island, his journey has been a constant struggle for freedom. It’s a true privilege to hold the documentary’s premiere here in Ōtautahi Christchurch so we can share in his incredible story of survival.”

Screen CanterburyNZ Manager Petrina D’Rozario says it’s an honour to have the premiere here and is sure the city will provide a warm reception for the event.

 

Christchurch’s film industry is a highly supportive and collaborative community. At Screen Canterbury, we’re certain this independent production will be well received by the city and we’re looking forward to being involved in more productions, holding more events, and hosting more premieres as we recover from the last two year’s disruption.”

Screen CanterburyNZ Manager Petrina D’Rozario

“Christchurch’s film industry is a highly supportive and collaborative community. At Screen Canterbury, we’re certain this independent production will be well received by the city and we’re looking forward to being involved in more productions, holding more events, and hosting more premieres as we recover from the last two year’s disruption.”

With limited seats for the screening and featuring a Q&A event afterward, hosted by a special guest; the Isaac Theatre Royal event is sure to sell out. Tickets are on sale now at Ticketek.

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