Experiencing Interruptions?


Three stories of (extra)ordinary reception and ordinary life. Stories of normal families, who have nothing out of the ordinary except for the fact that they are keen to open their doors, to create relations, to accept the Other. Why does a family decide to live this experience of reception? What are the reasons for which a person welcomes a young refugee in his or her home? What can one learn from living under the same roof with a young man coming from Mali, from the Ivory Coast, or from Afghanistan? What kind of emotional bond grows between the host families and the refugees? The stories of the young refugees, the paths that led them to Italy, their life projects are very different from one another, as are different the stories of the families who receive them. But one thing is common to all of them: the deep understanding that in the meeting with the Other there is much to be learned.

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    20 minutes 18 seconds
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    February 1, 2018
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Director Biography - ELISA MEREGHETTI

Elisa Mereghetti
Director, producer

born in Milan (Italy) on March 8th,1959

address: via San Felice 114, Bologna
cell: +39-333-3763292

Has directed more than 40 documentaries, many of which focussing on women’s issues, anthropological and development subjects. Her films have received numerous awards both nationally and internationally. Her documentary Eyes Wide Open, on the life of Catherine Phiri and the issue of AIDS orphans in Malawi received funding from the Media Plus Programme of the European Community and was part of the United Nations Africa 2015 – Millenium Goals campaign. Has directed documentaries for the United Nations Development Program on higher education in Russia and on sea protection in China and the Philippines. Is the executive producer of the TV series Economy and Environment: a challenge for Senegalese women, produced by Ethnos/Pidgin with the contribution of the European Commission. Has directed the documentaries Portrait of Altinè in the dry season on the life of a Peul woman in the Sahel and A way to move on" on women’s credit associations in Dakar. Has directed several films for different NGOs, among which Jerusalem Contended City and two reportages on the process of desertification in Italy and Burkina Faso produced by COSPE (Cooperation for the Development of Emerging Countries). On behalf of AIFO (Associazione Italiana Amici di Raoul Follereau) has directed, among others, Hopeful Steps and The miller, the accountant and other stories, on Community Based Rehabilitation projects in Guyana and Indonesia. Since 1987 has collaborated with the American anthropologist Judith Gleason in the making of several documentaries: Mother of the Waters (1988), on the cult of the goddess of the sea Yemanjà in Afro-Brazilian culture; Becoming a woman in Okrika on female initiation rituals in the Niger Delta (Nigeria); The King does not Lie (1992), on the initiation ritual in the Afro-Cuban Santeria religion; Flowers of Guadalupe, on the cult of the Virgin of Guadalupe in Mexico. For the program of RAI - National Italian television GEO has directed several nature documentaries in Italy and abroad, among which a series on the fauna, flora and geology of Iceland. Is founding member of ETHNOS, an independent TV production company based in Bologna, Italy.

Has received a Bachelor's Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies at the Empire State College (New York, 1984). Has taken various university courses on anthropological film and TV production (New School of Social Research and New York University). Has worked for several years at RAI Corporation in New York as producer and assistant director, collaborating among others with Furio Colombo and Franco Lazzaretti and participating in the realization of various programs in the United States, Central America, Australia and Great Britain. From 1979 to 1984 has worked in theatre, collaborating with various theatre companies as actress and director. Has received the diploma in Dramatherapy at the Dramatherapy Institute in New York. Has conducted theatre workshops in rehabilitation centres for drug abusers, alcoholists and psychiatric patients. Has published articles on her experience as a documentarist in various Italian magazines. Has participated as speaker in various conventions and seminars.
As president of the Association VAG61-Media Center in Bologna (2004-2007) and vice-president of the Association of Emilia-Romagna Documentarists (2009-present) she actively promotes the production of independent communication and te spreading of documentary culture.

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Director Statement

The video “Opening doors. Stories and numbers of (extra)ordinary reception” highlights some remarkable projects for the reception of asylum seekers in Emilia-Romagna. In the European context Italy stands out for its good practices regarding integration. In 2015, following the directive of the European Union which defined the minimal standards for the reception of asylum seekers, Italy confirmed the Protection System for Asylum Seekers and Refugees (SPRAR), which provides for the reception in small centers, not in closed and separated places outside the inhabited areas. SPRAR is formed by the network of local institutions supported by the non profit and voluntary sector to carry out integrated reception projects. The trait which is common to all the SPRAR projects is the individualized form of intervention, supported by the social work in the community. Other important integrated reception projects are implemented by the many Dioceses which participate in the national project led by the Italian CARITAS, called “Pro-tetto. Rifugiato a casa mia”.
With this video, the Legislative Assembly of the Emilia-Romagna Region and Europe Direct Emilia-Romagna wish to inform the general public about these new practices of reception. The goal is to strengthen the public awareness of European integration policies, calling the attention to local experiences for the integration of refugees, and sensitizing the citizens on the topics of widespread reception, non-discrimination, and on the asylum and refuge rights.