Fresh out of Berlin this week brings word that world renowned artist and filmmaker Ai Weiwei, is teaming up with Participant Media and AC Films for his new compelling documentary, Human Flow. Such is the case he now makes in a new promo video for the film in his effort to explore the global refugee crisis.
Shot within a year and the help of 25 crews, the film is currently in post production with interviews done in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, France, Greece, Germany, Hungary, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mexico, Pakistan, Palestine, Serbia, Switzerland, Syria, Thailand and Turkey. The specific focus of the documentary rests on highlighting the massive and shocking breadth of the global migration crisis in this epic film, which portrays the plight of today’s 65 million forcibly displaced individuals – the highest number ever – forced out of their homes by war, famine and climate change on long, treacherous journeys in search of new lives.
In 2016 I made a film, “Human Flow,” about the refugee situation. The film is a global study of refugees. Our film team consists of 25 film crews. We filmed in 22 countries including Bangladesh, France, Greece, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Macedonia, Mexico, and Turkey. We visited over 40 refugee camps in many countries and interviewed a few hundred people including refugees, NGOs, volunteers, and politicians. Very often we talk about the refugee crisis, but there is no refugee crisis, only human crisis. Our society has lost its concern for humanity and become more unpredictable, divided and dangerous. We need to create a reality that values human dignity and compassion. #humanflow
The film comes at an opportune moment in history with respect to the numerous crisis' reported on in the news as of late and especially nowadays with the hugely-debated issue over President Donald Trump's travel ban in which he initially aimed to block people from seven Islamic majority countries, a ban which, has been tentatively lifted and now remains so as of a 9th circuit court ruling on Thursday.
Speaking more on the matter as per the press release, Weiwei states, “Human Flow is a personal journey, an attempt to understand the conditions of humanity in our days. The film is made with deep beliefs in the value of human rights. In this time of uncertainty, we need more tolerance, compassion and trust for each other since we all are one. Otherwise, humanity will face an even bigger crisis.” Weiwei is producing along with Yap Chin-chin and Heino Deckert, and with AC Films's Andy Cohen and Participant's Jeff Skoll and Diane Weyermann executive producing.
“Ai Weiwei is a master of his craft and infuses emotion and urgency in this poignant and compelling film about the global refugee crisis.” says Diane Weyermann, Participant’s Executive Vice President of Documentary Films.
Executive producer Andy Cohen says, “From wastelands of war and persecution, Ai Weiwei takes us on a global odyssey, never losing sight of the individual among this massive human flow – even when confronted by the guns and walls of the ‘free’ world.”
David Linde, CEO of Participant Media, commented, “There is no better place than being here in Berlin at this critical moment to announce this powerful film to a global audience. We are thrilled to be working with an artist and filmmaker of Ai Weiwei’s caliber and exceptional vision to tell this essential story.”
Ai Weiwei’s recent exhibitions include Laundromat at Jeffrey Deitch in New York, Ai Weiwei: Libero at Palazzo Strozzi in Florence, #SafePassage at Foam in Amsterdam, and Ai Weiwei at Cycladic at the Museum of Cycladic Arts in Athens. Ai Weiwei was born in Beijing in 1957 and now lives in Berlin. He has made twenty documentaries about social and political issues that have won major film festival awards.
Human Flow continues Participant’s strong track record of producing influential documentaries that empower social change. Most recently, the company premiered An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival to critical acclaim and sparked a growing dialogue on the pressing issue of climate change.
Ai Weiwei is represented by United Talent Agency for Human Flow.