Written by Toby Crockford, edited for online by Hannah Kotaidis
A documentary exposing the real impacts of Australia’s offshore detention policies will be shown in Brisbane tomorrow night.
Chasing Asylum showcases never-before-seen footage from inside the centres.
The ground breaking film was produced by Academy Award-winning director and producer Eva Orner and has achieved sold-out screenings and positive reviews around the world.
“I’ve been making documentaries for over 20 years and it’s definitely the hardest film I’ve ever made and I’ve made some really tough films.
“There’s just so many heartbreaking stories and so many lives that have been destroyed and damaged by our cruel policies,” Ms Orner said.
The documentary has the support of the Refugee Action Collective Queensland and spokeswoman Margaret McPherson said she was passionate about the cause.
“We’re supporting it because we’re very much against the offshore processing system and we want Nauru and Manus closed; they’re hell holes and they should never have started in the first place.”
Ms McPherson said interest had increased over the past 12 months in the refugee crisis and hoped the film would continue the momentum.
“I’m hoping that there will be people in the audience that aren’t rusted on like us, people who just want to know a bit more about what is going on and if that’s the case I’m assuming that they’ll be as horrified as what we have been over the past few years,” she said.
Having immigrated to Australia with her Polish parents, Ms Orner said she has drawn from her own experiences and has used this a motivation for advocating for refugee rights.
“All this talk about budget, is quite astonishing because I know how you can save $1.2 billion a year and you can shut down Nehru and Manus which keeps just over two thousand people in absolute squaller,” she said.
Under the 2015 Border Force Protection Act, whistle-blowers face a two-year jail penalty and cameras are not allowed inside the detention centres, but the documentary has overcome both obstacles.
Ms Orner highlighted the victory achieved by the Baby Asha protesters as a motivator for those people are feeling powerless to help refugees.
“You can stand up, you can contact your local members and say ‘you’re going to lose my vote, unless you change this’. If millions of people did that, the Labor government would change their policies – 100 per-cent.
“We need to create a movement to stop this, it’s already started, people are doing an incredible job but we need it to be stronger, harder and we need Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten to hear our voices, loud and clear,” she said.
Ms Orner also challenged politicians to see the film and view what their policies look like in the flesh.
She also encouraged everyone to see the film and “get educated”.
“Chasing Asylum” is screening at Palace Centro Cinema in Fortitude Valley tomorrow night, for more information visit www.chasingasylum.com.au