The visitors to the Croatian island of Brac had the opportunity to watch the latest European documentaries shown at Supetar Super Film Festival in the period 10 - 14 July 2012. The festival selection included a number of documentaries from Sweden, Denmark, Poland, Russia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Great Britain, the Czech Republic and Croatia; after the screenings the audience exchanged impressions with the authors and voted for their favorites.
Based on the votes of the audience, the film (The Importance of) Hair of the Swedish director Christina Höglund won first place, the second place went to the film Bye bye c’est fini of the author Tora Mårtens, while Here I Am, the work of Irene Fabri, won third place.
The film Here I Am, produced by Praxis in cooperation with Dokukino and with financial support from the European Union, examines the existential problems of the residents of informal Roma settlements in Serbia and introduces viewers to the very much alive, parallel world of the marginalised whose faith and hope are their basic tools of survival. In the spirit of the marginalised and from the subjective point of view, the leading actor presents to the audience his friends whose fate often depends only on one paper or somebody's good will.
Let us be reminded that the residents of informal Roma settlements in Serbia do not have identity documents, because they are not allowed to have their permanent residence registered. The lack of identity documents prevents them from finding jobs, educating children and enjoying other socio-economic rights. Some of them are also "legally invisible" persons, i. e. the persons who are not registered in birth registry books and therefore live outside the system of health care, social welfare and employment; they are socially excluded and exposed to various forms of discrimination.
In order to draw attention to the most marginalised minority group in Serbia, Praxis plans to continue to promote the film at other festivals in the country and abroad. The promotional video clips of the documentary can be viewed on YouTube through the links entitled Here I Am -Legally Invisible and Here I Am - Forced Evictions.
We hope that the recognition of the documentary Here I Am will remind the government that the problems of the residents of informal Roma settlements in Serbia should be resolved as soon as possible.
See also the blog posted on the website of the European Network on Statelessness: Giving a Face to the Invisible