World Refugee Day: Watch Nazanin Boniadi’s New DocuFilm “Stateless”
June 18, 2020 — Last summer, the actress and human rights activist Nazanin Boniadi visited the Northern french cities of Calais and Dunkirk where she met asylum seekers from around the world, including her birth country of Iran, and documented their experiences in her new short film, “Stateless.”
“I met a bright and charming eight-year-old Iranian boy, Arvin, who is in the docufilm with his family including his younger brother who has autism,” Boniadi told the Center for Human Rights in Iran, where she has been a board member since 2015. “He told me he wanted to go to the UK and become a doctor so he could help people like his brother, and it just broke my heart.”
“But it also filled me with such hope when I later found out that he had made it to London and started school,” she said. “I have a feeling he’ll make his dream come true. I was so inspired by his spirit.”
Boniadi’s parents had also sought asylum in the UK after fleeing Iran when she was just 20 days old–one of the many reasons why she decided to help refugees like Arvin tell their stories to the world. Stories of people who, like her parents had decades ago, left their homes behind with barely more than hopes and dreams of a better tomorrow.
Ahead of this year’s World Refugee Day, as the novel coronavirus COVID-19 wreaks havoc on the world economy, Boniadi is passionately advocating for refugees’ rights to life and healthcare.
“It’s essential that lawmakers include refugees in their efforts to contain the coronavirus pandemic, both as a moral imperative and as a public health issue,” Boniadi said. “Providing running water, basic nutrition, shelter, and an environment in which social distancing is possible is urgently needed.”
“For the longer term, it’s crucial that lawmakers understand the devastating reasons why people seek refuge,” she added. “While we continue our work to end persecution and conflicts that cause people to seek refuge elsewhere, we must also demand that our governments make the asylum process more humane and inclusive.”
Click here to watch “Stateless,” a short documentary film produced by Nazanin for the ATTN: Media company, and on this World Refugee Day, please consider supporting her call for donations to Care4Calais and the Center for Human Rights in Iran.
STATELESS aims to shed light on the plight of refugees and encourage lawmakers to revise oppressive policies that contribute to international conflicts. pic.twitter.com/0SF7ICK0jJ
— attn (@attn) June 16, 2020
*This post was amended on June 19, 2020, to note that Nazanin Boniadi produced this film.