Into the Fire writes, "Into The Fire is a film with a difference. Besides being a hard hitting documentary which shows the plight of refugees and migrants amidst a collapsing Greek economy, it's also an experiment in new film production and distribution techniques. A year ago, we made a first, crowd-funded trip to Athens. We filmed shocking levels of racism, police brutality, and right-wing extremism - as well as the courageous and inspiring people who are organising against it.
"Into the Fire will be released on 21st April on the internet. We crowd-funded the film and crowd-sourced the subtitles: it's been translated into eight languages using the open subtitler Amara. We are also using crowd-sourcing as the release and distribution strategy for the documentary: anyone who signs up to participate will receive embedding details ahead of time, and the film will be released on various websites simultaneously. The audience becomes the distribution network."
Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie has teamed up with Britain’s Foreign Secretary William Hague for a trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to highlight the use of rape as a weapon of war and to raise awareness of the issue on an international level.
The two will visit a rescue camp for women north-west of Goma to raise awareness about warzone rape.
“This visit is about hearing first hand from people who have endured rape and sexual violence during the conflict in the eastern DRC. We want justice for the victims and we want to know how the world can protect thousands of women, men and children at risk of rape in many other conflict zones. We want to persuade governments around the world to give this issue the attention it deserves,” said Jolie.
“Unless the world acts, we will always be reacting to atrocities, treating survivors rather than preventing rape in the first place,” added Jolie.
Hague hopes to present his findings to the forthcoming Group of Eight summit in London.
He is calling on the G8 leaders to agree that rape and sexual violence constitute breaches of the Geneva Conventions governing warfare.
“More often than not the international community looks away, the perpetrators of these brutal crimes walk free and the cycle of injustice and conflict is repeated,” he said.
“It is time for real, meaningful action by the governments of the world to say that the use of rape as a weapon of war is unacceptable, to bring perpetrators to justice and to lift the stigma from survivors. This is my personal priority for the meeting of G8 foreign ministers,” he added.
As a UNHCR Special Envoy, Jolie has fought for the rights of refugees worldwide for over a decade.
A 2011 film by the 37-year-old actress, “In the Land of Blood and Honey,” depicts the experiences of victims in the infamous rape camps set up during the ethnic cleansing in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Actress Angelina Jolie is in Iraq meeting with leaders about the plight of an estimated 50,000 refugees who fled to escape the violence in Syria in her role as a special envoy for the U.N.'s refugee agency.
A government statement said Jolie on Saturday urged Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari to ensure the refugees have enough supplies to meet all their daily needs.
Zebari said an estimated 21,000 Syrian refugees are living in Iraq's western Anbar and Dohuk provinces. Another 31,000 Iraqis who years ago fled to Syria to escape sectarian fighting in their homeland have returned, he said.
Jolie also recently visited refugee camps in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan to highlight suffering and the need for international humanitarian assistance.
While at the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan on Tuesday, Jolie, who is herself raising six children with her partner Brad Pitt, spoke of the horrors that children, many of them orphans, have witnessed in Syria.
"I am grateful to Jordan and the border countries for saving the lives (of those) who are dying in Syria. It's an extraordinary thing. We encourage the international community to support the people here until one day they go back home," she said
It was a rare visit to Iraq by a movie star, but Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are unique:
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie continue to put their money where their mouths are when it comes to charity. Their Jolie Pitt Foundation’s 2010 tax filing just became available. Of the over $2.3 million they gave away in 2010, $1 million went to Doctors without Borders treating patients in Haiti. But sometimes it’s the little things that count, too. Brad paid $3,000 toward a funeral for beloved New Orleans civic leader and his friend, Pamela Dashiell, who died unexpectedly at age 61 in December 2009. Dashiell had been a leader in New Orleans’s famous Lower 9th Ward where the most damage occurred from Hurricane Katrina. Big donations are wonderful, but something like that kind of breaks your heart.
The Jolie Pitt Foundation is also kind of a template for smart giving. For example, under a micro financing plan they loaned 201 needy Cambodians $21,000 for small businesses to purchase crop seeds and agricultural tools– a similar program to Kiva.org. All the money has been paid back.
Their largest expenditures went to SOS Childrens Villages ($250,000) and to other children’s causes around the world. But they also donated $200,000 to Drury University in Springfield, Missouri – Brad’s hometown – and $15,000 to Operation Blankets of Love in Granada Hills, California–they help rescue pets and abandoned animals.
Worth noting that the Jolie-Pitts donations repesented 25% of their assets, which is highly generous.
This video, from the PBS Blog "The Rundown," describes the plight of thousands of Sudanese refugees who fled violence in Blue Nile State only to face a humanitarian crisis in overcrowded camps in South Sudan.
Sudanese taking refuge in a tent camp in Jamam, South Sudan, may have escaped the fighting around their homes but are finding their plight is not over yet.
The refugees have traveled from the Blue Nile region along the border of Sudan and South Sudan to escape fighting between Sudanese government forces and the local army, which wants no influence from the North.
But the Jamam camp, where they have fled, is "not a safe place for them to be" either, said Peter Struijf of Oxfam, according to an Independent Television News report. "We are very worried about disease outbreaks. We need someone at a higher level to make a strategic decision to solve this problem once and for all and that probably means moving most people out of Jamam. If not all."
New refugees are arriving daily, and the camp has swelled to about 40,000 people. The U.N. refugee agency is working to move people to more stable areas, but the rainy season has washed out roads and makes it challenging to move large numbers by bus or truck.
"It wasn't a planned camp," explained Fredeeric Cussigh, head of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees' field office. "It was a self-created camp where refugees settled. It's a de facto camp rather than an organized camp."
One of the residents of the camp, Efendi Badi el-Tom, the head of the Ingessana people who live in the hill country of eastern Sudan, said he doesn't blame UNHCR. "I blame [Sudanese President] Omar al-Bashir because if he hadn't shot and bombed us, we would have avoided all this. We are mountain people. The Ingessana people want to go home and find peace and finish this terrible war. Our hearts are broken."
- A South Sudan country profile from UNHCR says there are about 105,000 refugees in the country and hundreds of thousands more South Sudanese who are moving from Sudan back to South Sudan now that the country is independent.