In the small capital of Serbia in Belgrade, Diana, Sam and Felix operate a grass roots NGO. Over the years they have worked with the migrants making the perilous journey across the Balkan Route on their way to Western Europe, providing them with the essential items, food and clothing they need to survive. However ever since the closure of the Balkan Route, the necessary media attention needed to inform citizens of this crisis has either turned hostile or disappeared.
In an attempt to change this, they set out across the Balkan Route, from Turkey to Belgium putting together integration festivals for migrants and locals alike, to come together through workshops, food, art and music, with the intent to ease any existing tensions between these communities and bring light to the plight of refugees.
Through their own journey, this film offers an exclusive look into the so called Balkan Route, through the people they meet along the way, from migrants making the journey to ordinary citizens and organisations caught up in this humanitarian crisis.
The Routes Film, formerly named the Odyssey Project, is an offshoot of Refugee Aid Serbia, a functioning NGO that sampled a routes festival in their native country before taking it to six other cities. The documentary focuses on its main three humanitarian aid workers as they travel through one of the main migration routes into Europe.
Aims & Objectives
Our film aims to highlight the continuous plight of migrants and refugees along the Balkan route and spark critical thinking that may change the negative rhetoric and stigma in which people view migrants. The hope is to raise awareness and empathy of the situation and empower citizens in countries that can support refugees to take action.It is our hope that through experiencing the film viewers will leave with a call to action and get involved in a myriad of ways supportive of refugee issues, leading to long term, systematic change. These will be discussed in the film and information will be provided on our website and linked social channels. A template and support will be provided to countries keen to get involved in the Routes festival movement creating a franchise supported by Refugee Aid Serbia
We aim to use the film as a key resource tool in schools and through future Routes festival events to create yearly global integration festivals, start conversation and help change unjust policies. A more engaged and empathic society towards refugees and migrant communities, and better institutional and societal response to their plight. A continuation of community building through regular Routes festivals and related projects across Europe and globally engaging refugees and local communities.