IOM launches for the 6th time the Global Migration Film Festival: West and Central Africa Edition

Published Date: 
Mon, 11/15/2021 - 16:15


Dakar, Senegal, November 15, 2021The IOM regional office for West and Central Africa is proud to announce the launch of the 6th edition of the Global Migration Film Festival (GMFF). The festival is organised in 13 countries in the West and Central Africa region and will run from November 20th till December 18th, 2021.  Visitors will have the choice between 20 movies (shorts, feature, and documentaries) addressing the topic of migration. The festival will also highlight films that address the topic of gender-based violence.

The GMFF 2021 West and Central Africa Edition is the second one organized during the Covid-19 pandemic. The first edition of the GMFF, in 2016 lived up to its global character, airing films from Switzerland till Philippines. For this year’s West and Central Africa Edition, 13 countries confirmed their participation to the festival: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea, The Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone. These countries will screen films in different spaces, from cinemas to concert halls, to schools and universities, to hard-to-reach areas in rural communities like Boké, Mamou, Kankan and Nzérékoré in Guinea.

One of the objectives of the GMFF West and Central Africa edition is to trigger more curiosity on getting insights into migration, the way we see migrants and understand their place in the world around us; through films.

Tabara Ly, producer of the movie ‘Maison Bleue’ that made it to the final selection, agrees. “There is an undeniable universality in what people say for migrants who live between their home and elsewhere. The idea of ‘home’ appeals and seeing experiences of migration represented in movies, reminds us that the barriers can be easily undone and that anything is possible.”

The films for this edition were selected by a panel of international film experts under the guidance of Professor Maguèye Kassé from Senegal, who is a well-known art critic. The movie opening this year’s festival is Djibril’s Forest (2020) from Burkina Faso, directed and produced by Thomas Ceulemans and Saydou Kalaga. It is featuring the story of a young Sahelian shepherd who travels far to find the forest his grandfather told him so much about.

The International Organization of Migration is thrilled again this year to promote these masterpieces during the Global Migration Film Festival, as explained by Alpha Seydi BA, regional media and communications officer at the West and Central Africa bureau. “IOM is always proud to engage with filmmakers in helping to understand the untold facets of migration. All the selected filmmakers are showcasing to the public the complexities and power dynamics around migration while using art and such a strong creativity”, he added.

During the festival 14 films will compete in 2 different competitions: feature film and short film. Each competition will laureate the 3 best movies with an award and a grant varying from 100 USD (3rd place) to 1000 USD (1st place).

The selected films for the feature film competition are:

  • Agadez Tagadez (Niger)
  • Maison Bleue (Senegal/Belgium)
  • Fati’s Choice (Ghana)
  • Matares (Algeria/France)

The selected films for the short film competition are:

  • Djibril's Forest (Burkina Faso/Belgium)
  • DỌLÁPỌ̀ is fine (Nigeria/England)
  • I like it here (Ghana)
  • Hide (Sierra Leone)
  • Les Avales du Grand Bleu (Togo)
  • Sega (Senegal)
  • Stay Up (Mali)
  • Suñu ekool (Senegal/Switzerland)
  • The Lodger (Nigeria/England)
  • The Quest (Senegal)
  • Territories (Algeria/France)

This years’ edition created a special competition as well to showcase the talents of the Volunteers of the IOM project Migrants as Messengers (MaM). The MaM Volunteers are returnee migrants leading IOM’s peer to peer campaign promoting safe migration.  The MaM volunteers from seven countries (Côte d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal and Sierra Leone) have submitted 20+ movies. Submissions will be reviewed by IOM RO office and winners will receive filmmaking equipment as prizes.

Film lovers in Senegal will be able to attend the following selected movies on the following dates and venues:

  • Les Avales du Grand Bleu (Togo)
  • Maison Bleue (Senegal/Belgium)
  • Sega (Senegal)
  • Stay Up (Mali)
  • The Quest (Senegal)
  • 20 & 21 November - Dakar;
  • 26, 27 & 28 November - Thiès;
  • 3, 4 & 5 December – Tambacounda;
  • 10, 11 & 12 December – Ziguinchor.


For more information on the 2021 edition of the GMFF, please visit:


Press contacts:

Halima Djigo, Regional Media Relations Officer,, +221 76 369 18 14


About IOM:

Established in 1951, IOM is the leading intergovernmental organization in the field of migration and works closely with governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental partners. With 173 member states, a further 8 states holding observer status and offices in over 100 countries, IOM is dedicated to promoting humane and orderly migration for the benefit of all. It does so by providing services and advice to governments and migrants. IOM works to help ensure the orderly and humane management of migration to promote international cooperation on migration issues, to assist in the search for practical solutions to migration problems and to provide humanitarian assistance to migrants in need, including refugees and internally displaced people. The IOM Constitution recognizes the link between migration and economic, social and cultural development, as well as to the right of freedom of movement. IOM activities that cut across these areas include the promotion of international migration law, policy debate and guidance, protection of migrants' rights, migration health and the gender dimension of migration.

For further information, please visit our website for IOM’s Regional Office in West and Central Africa: