17 October at 18.00 

Migration and Displacement on Film

How does film reference migrants and migration?  Three filmmakers whose films touch on migration in different ways will explore the messaging film conveys about this highly topical subject while a migration expert will unpack key points and local contexts.

Panelists:  Aga Woszczyńska (director, Silent Land),  Erik Poppe (director, The Emigrants), Stefan Arsenijevíc (director, As Far As I Can Walk), Prof Pragna Rugunanan (Head of the Department of Sociology at the University of Johannesburg). 

Moderator: Liza Aziz (Fineline Productions)

Aga Woszczyńska

Born in 1984, Aga Woszczyńska  is a director, scriptwriter, anthropologist from Poland.  Aga graduated from Applied Social Science (2008) and The Polish National Film School in Lodz – Directing Department (2014). For many years she has been working as Assistant Director in Poland and abroad. Her short films were presented and won awards at numerous film festivals, including Cannes Film Festival, Helsinki International Film Festival, T-Mobile New Horizons, Sao Paulo Kinoforum and Warsaw Film Festival and have been bought by national and international TV channels. Her graduation short film Fragments had its international Premiere at Cannes Film Festival in the Directors’ Fortnight programme (Quinzaine des Réalisateurs).  Silent Land, which premiered in Toronto IFF Platform Competition, is her first feature film. She is currently working on her second feature Black Water.

Erik Poppe

Erik Poppe, born 24 June 1960, is a Norwegian film director, screenwriter and former cinematographer.  Poppe is regarded as one of Europe’s most experienced and compelling directors recognized for his work with actors and impeccably crafted, multi-pronged narratives. His movies are often built around strong ensemble casts, sharp writing, impressive camera work and an uncanny knack for rhythm and music in the editing. During the last decade Poppe has become one of the most frequently awarded film directors from Scandinavia. Poppe is probably the only director in Norway who has showed the ability to impress both the critics as well as the audience, taking high admissions in domestic release.  He is currently shooting Quisling – The final days about the notorious WW2 traitor Vidkun Quisling. He has won multiple awards and participated in the main competition in Berlin in 2018 with Utøya 22. July. His Oslo Trilogy, as well as A Thousand Times Good Night and The Kings Choice have been sold to territories worldwide.

Stefan Arsenijević

Stefan Arsenijević is a Serbian film director and scriptwriter.  Since 2005 he has been a lecturer at the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Belgrade, and has been a programmme manager of Goethe-Institut’s First Films First training programme for Southeast European directors since 2016 .  Arsenijević has received over 30 international accolades for his ten short films, including a Golden Bear at Berlinale, The European Film Academy Award and an Oscar nomination for his short film (A)torzija.

Arsenijević directed his first feature film Love And Other Crimes in 2008 and this went on to win several international awards. This was followed by As Far As I Can Walk in 2021 which won the main award Crystal Globe for the best film at the 55th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. The film won two more official awards: best actor for Ibrahim Koma and a special mention for cinematographer Jelena Stanković, as well as the Ecumenical Jury Prize and Europa Cinemas Label Award.

Pragna Rugunanan 

Pragna Rugunanan is a Professor and Head of the Department of Sociology at the University of Johannesburg. She is currently a Visiting Professor at the Canadian Excellence Research Chair in Migration at Toronto Metropolitan University, Toronto. In September of 2022, she was invited to be part of an Expert Group Meeting on “Megatrends and Families: Focus on Digital Technologies, Migration and Urbansation” at the UN. Her research focuses on the construction of African and South Asian migrant communities to South Africa and migration in the Global South. Her research interests include the sociology of migration, labour studies, family and well-being, migration and digital technologies, urbanisation, social networks, and community studies. Her co-edited book “Migration in Southern Africa” has just been published by Springer Press. Her current research is titled ‘Migration, Identities and Trans-continental Linkages: Studying the South Indian Diaspora in South Africa’. Pragna was part of the Editorial Collective for Gender Questions, an accredited journal with the Department of Higher Education for 2018 to 2020. In 2020, she was nominated for the UJ Distinguished Research Leadership Programme, a flagship programme at UJ to develop future research leaders.

Liza Aziz (moderator)

Liza Aziz has produced for South African national and provincial ministries and departments, non-governmental organisations, universities and national and international clients.  These clients include the eThekwini Municipality, the Zulu monarch, King Goodwill Zwelithini, Cricket South Africa (CSA), the South African Football Association, University of KwaZulu-Natal, the Konrad Adenauer Foundation (Germany), International Centre for Eyecare Education (ICEE-Australia), Richard Bay Minerals, The South African Technology Network (SATN), and the International Federation of Trade Unions and a host of other companies and institutions in South Africa.

Liza Aziz’s documentaries have been broadcast on prime time on SABC, e-TV and M-Net. These documentaries have also featured in several acclaimed festivals, including Sundance, the Berlinale Internationale Film Festival, Durban International Film Festival, the Encounters Documentary Festival and the Parliamentary Film Festival.  She is also the founding member and current Director of Action in Autism, a disabled peoples organisation for autistic people.


22 October at 13.00 

Director’s symposium

With Stefan Arsenijevic (As Far As I Can Walk)