Two Migrant-produced Movies Revive Yemen’s Filmmaking Hopes

Posters for Bint and Zatan

Sana’a’s silver screen got lit again with Bint and Zafan, two films produced by teams of creative young displaced Yemenis who have defied extreme conditions in order to learn filmmaking and document different angles of their war torn country.

IOM, the UN Migration Agency, has partnered with Youth of Peace (YoP), a local Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) in Yemen empowering and mobilizing young people around peace-building initiatives, to provide capacity building training to a group of youth.

During a period of three and a half months, twelve young people - migrants, refugees and internally displaced - received training and mentorship on documentary filmmaking. The process had equipped them with the skills to produce two films.

Bint (Arabic for “Girl”), discusses challenges facing girls and women in Yemen. The film exposes gender discrimination and sheds light on early marriage and the dreams of girls and women to study abroad and to become productive members in their society.


While Zafan, which means dance in old Yemeni dialect, tells the story of four young Yemeni break dancers and the challenges they face to continue their path in light of limited resources and the lack of social acceptance.


IOM’s partnership with YoP, a catalyst of positive youth integration, allowed to bring together youth who have been displaced for different circumstances and from across different regions in Yemen. They have learned together and worked together, bringing social ties even closer.

Furthermore the project has also equipped those youth with the most-efficient advocacy skill: filmmaking. IOM and YoP, provided the young people with support to turn their ideas into reality. And to celebrate the talents of the young filmmakers, one hundred guests attended the special screening organized by YoP in Sanaa. The public comprised high level officials, United Nations representatives, film producers and supporters.

This project is part of IOM Yemen Youth Strategy for 2017, designed with the purpose of promoting youth integration in the Yemeni society. The aim is to equip young people with skills and knowledge, reinforce their voices, and promote their employment, as a pillar to peace building.

For more information on this project, please contact

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