Powerful immersive film from BBC Media Action tracks a refugee’s journey via mobile phone

In times of crisis, we know that information can be as important as food, water and shelter. Alexandra Buccianti, Project Manager, BBC Media Action
Date: 18.07.2016     Last updated: 18.07.2016 at 10.20
Category: World Service
This striking film, designed to watch vertically on a mobile phone, helps the viewer to experience with immediacy the confusion and fear facing refugees making a perilous journey by boat.

Watch the film (Please watch on a mobile phone with headphones)

‘If you had to flee your country, what’s the one piece of technology you would take with you?’ asks an innovative new short film from BBC Media Action, the BBC’s international development charity.

This striking film, designed to watch vertically on a mobile phone, helps the viewer to experience with immediacy the confusion and fear facing refugees making a perilous journey by boat. Your phone is now a refugee’s phone. Text messages arrive from your family. Suddenly someone contacts you on WhatsApp warning you to turn back. But are they right? Your lifeline is a phone with no signal that’s rapidly running out of battery.

The film is based on research conducted by BBC Media Action to help humanitarian agencies be aware of the communication issues of refugees in transit. It found that access to internet, mobile networks and social media are critical in helping people feel more informed and better connected.

BBC Media Action’s Alexandra Buccianti, says: “In times of crisis, we know that information can be as important as food, water and shelter. Yet in this digital age, many refugees travelling through unfamiliar territory lack reliable information to stay safe and survive. Whether it is following conflict, flood or famine, this film shows communication is essential in any humanitarian crisis.”

Notes to Editors
This research has been funded by UK aid from the UK government through the START Network European Refugee Response Programme. The content of this report is the responsibility of BBC Media Action. Any views expressed in this report should not be taken to represent those of the BBC itself, or any donors supporting the work of the charity.

NH