Blue Mountains Refugee Support Group will be hosting a screening of The Staging Post at Mt Vic Flicks on Wednesday, June 19 at 7pm for refugee week.
The filmmaker Jolyon Hoff and Afghan refugee Muzafar Ali will be present for a Q&A after the film.
In 2013, when Australia re-instigated the contentious "turn back the boats" policy, Hoff drove up the hill from Jakarta in Indonesia to the boat's staging post in Cisarua. He wanted to find out who the refugees were and, with the boats stopped, what they planned to do. Almost immediately he met Ali and Pakistani refugee Khadim Dai.
Ali is a photographer and human rights advocate who had worked for the UN in Afghanistan.
At their first meeting they decided to start a project together. They made a series of films, which were watched tens of thousands of times. Khadim won an award in New York, and through their images they gave a voice to a forgotten community.
Ali, Khadim and Hoff went on to found a school to enable refugee children an opportunity to have the education they had been denied, funded by Australian supporters and with voluntary labour from the refugee community and overseas visitors.
School numbers have blossomed and there are now 15 teachers and managers, all refugees.
The rest of the refugee community in Indonesia watched the success of the Cisarua Refugee Learning Centre. Inspired, there are now four other schools, a karate club, a women's handicraft group and many other refugee-led initiatives in Cisarua.
The Staging Post is about friendship, connection and the power of community, a truly moving piece of cinema.
At 7pm on June 19. Book through mtvicflicks.com.au.