‘gay and transgender refugees’ (PRESS RELEASE)

In honour of Human Rights Day on December 10

Last Chance (NFB)

Free online launch December 7, 8 and 9

A film by Paul Émile d’Entremont

Montreal, November 26, 2012 – In honour of Human Rights Day on December 10, the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) announces the online launch of Last Chance (NFB), a documentary by Paul Émile d’Entremont that tells the stories of five asylum seekers—from Jamaica, Colombia, Lebanon, Egypt and Nicaragua—who have fled homophobic violence in their native countries. Winner of the La Vague/Léonard Forest award for best medium- or feature-length Acadian film at the Festival international du cinéma francophone en Acadie (FICFA), and recently screened as one of the opening films at the Image+Nation Festival, Last Chance will be available free online for a limited time, from December 7 to 9, 2012, at nfb.ca/lastchance. Subsequently the film will be available for download-to-own, for $14.95 in high definition and $9.95 in standard definition, and as a video-on-demand rental for $2.95.

 

Last Chance

 At a time when Canadian law determining refugee status is under review, Last Chance shines new light on the issue by providing intimate access to rarely heard stories. The film also reflects on important questions about Canada’s international image and the way in which the country welcomes and integrates refugees.

 

In Last Chance, filmmaker Paul Émile d’Entremont (Reema, There and Back, NFB, 2006) once again explores the theme of personal empowerment, following the heartrending journeys of Trudi, Carlos, Jennifer, Zaki and Alvaro.The film graphically portrays the issue of minority rights and exposes for the first time the ordeal that asylum seekers must go through, from their countries of origin to their arrival in Canada. Giving women and men who refuse to deny their true identities a chance to be heard, Last Chance breaks the silence and raises awareness about the struggle of these strong people, who courageously embrace their differences in the face of marginalization and oppression, as they await a decision that will forever change their lives. At the same time, Last Chance questions Canada’s now threatened tradition of openness in welcoming refugees.

 

Canada and gay and transgender refugees

 Canada was among the first countries to accept asylum seekers on the basis of sexual orientation and identity. Every year, it takes in numerous refugees who have suffered from homophobic violence in their countries of origin, where they are often rejected by their families, arrested, imprisoned, raped, tortured, or threatened with death. To obtain Canadian refugee status, applicants must be able to prove that they are members of a sexual or gender-based minority at a hearing of the Immigration and Refugee Board.

 

About the NFB

 The National Film Board of Canada creates groundbreaking interactive works, social-issue documentaries and auteur animation. The NFB’s award-winning content can be seen at NFB.ca and on apps for smartphones, tablets and connected TV. Canada’s public producer and distributor since 1939, the NFB has created over 13,000 productions and won over 5,000 awards, including 6 Webbys, 12 Oscars and more than 90 Genies.

 

-30-

 

Information:

Pat Dillon-Moore

Media Relations, NFB

Cell.: 514-206-1750

p.a.dillon@nfb.ca

Twitter: @PatDoftheNFB

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