Tonight, in Brooklyn and cities around the globe, there will be a coordinated worldwide film screening organized by Secret Cinema as a show of solidarity for refugees around the world. The activist group, founded by Fabian Riggall, has set up screenings in refugee camps around the world to, in his words, “offer a break from this constant reality of living in tents.” Tonight’s yet-to-be-announced film will be screened also in London, France, Los Angeles, Detroit, Tunisia, Japan and Kenya.
In New York City, the film will host for free at the screening room in the Wythe Hotel, a bar and cinema only open to the public for events. The Brooklyn event, promoted through a Facebook event, will be hosted by Secret Cinema New York representative Eftihia Stefanidi who told us, “The importance of cultural gatherings in a devastating crisis like this is paramount and New York should also be participating in the debate. We believe in the power of film as a medium to inspire solidarity, raise awareness and urge people to act.” The donation-only event will benefit the Syrian Emergency Task Force.
Wythe Hotel Screening Room
In London, Secret Cinema will be producing a 100-date run of Empire Strikes Back, which according to The Guardian “will earn Secret Cinema £6.7m over the course of the production; that makes it a significant hitter on the UK entertainment scene, and gives its team the money to back up their social conscience. Riggall says he met Syrian occupants of the camp (the largest group), as well as Afghans, Eritreans, Ethiopians, Sudanese and Pakistanis, and says that the biggest problem isn’t getting aid out there, but distributing it when it arrives.”
Wythe Hotel Basement Bar
We personally spoke with the dynamic head organizer Fabien Riggall this morning who this author travelled to London to meet and profile two years ago for New York Magazine. Riggall was on site in France and he said that after he had first traveled there he was dismayed to see conditions, “I was inspired by the need to act, and to stand in solidarity through cultural action. Simply put, artists need to come together and change shit.”
Untapped Cities will be at the screening, an event capped at 85, so be sure to immediately RSVP through Eventbrite posted on the Facebook invite to assure admittance. For news on the events worldwide the related hashtag are #LOVEREFUGEES and #SECRETPROTEST.
This free charity screening at the Wythe Hotel to support the cause will be in collaboration with the Syrian Emergency Task Force. Donations are accepted directly via text “SETF” to 41444.