Case Study: GELUKZOEKERtjeS Moos Pozzo & Jamil Makhoul on the perspective of the asylum seeker.
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Moos Pozzo & Jamil Makhoul on the perspective of the asylum seeker.

Jamil Makhoul and Moos Pozzo made the short documentary GELUKSZOEKERtjeS. The film will be shown in a special screening during Euregion Film Festival 2022.

18 februari 2022

The idea

Jamil: "As refugees we lost everything in the war and try to find a safe life back. When I met Moos at AZC Heerlen where I was staying, she told me about the activities of Foundation the Vrolijkheid and asked me to participate. This word “Happiness” surprised me and incited me to investigate how residents relate to this topic. I was depressed and broken and felt shy towards the children who seemed happy while staying in the centre. Later on, I got to know the word “Gelukzoeker” which surprised me even more. I find it really offensive. We did not have a choice coming here and you cannot blame me."

Moos: "In 2016, when Jamil was staying in the AZC and he expressed his surprise about our name “the Happiness”, I made the remark that this would be a great topic to make a documentary about and handed over our video camera. Jamil also received support from other people like filmmaker Bart in the movie. Five years later, I asked Jamil about those images and we came up with the idea to finish this project, l with children who were staying in the AZC now, and people who stayed with Jamil in the centre and who are now living in society."

Archives and Arts

Jamil: "We actually developed two styles: One consisted of interviews with the children in the azc through an art project developed by Moos, the other one consisted of old images with a handheld camera following up my ways through the AZC to capture the atmosphere and the characters while we talked about “the Happiness”.  We did not really have a team besides Moos and me. I was the director and cameraman. Moos was the researcher, content developer and producer".

Moos: "We received funding from CineSud. We sent the filmplan with the concept to CineSud. Already in 2016, CineSud was interested to support Jamil in his development as a filmmaker in the Netherlands and in collaborating with the Vrolijkheid at AZC Heerlen. We only controlled the shooting days in 2021 which were agreed upon with the main characters who had left the azc and with the Vrolijkheid. The shots of the children in the AZC were made during a 6-weeks art project."

Watch this short at Euregion Film Festival!

March 6, Royal Theater Heerlen.

Tickets & more info.

Shifting perspectives, the makers, the artists and the children

Moos: "I am still in contact with many children who used to live in the AZC. We had three children in mind to make the movie with. Our zoom meetings with the children and families were very promising and interrelated, but we had to wait to go filming due to Corona. When finally we could go, the children withdrew. Apparently too much time had passed by. We still regret that these children, now youngsters are missing in the film. This is how we decided for Jamil and the artist in the movie to play a major role in the film, which meant that we had to deliver our message in a different way. All credits go to Jamil as an editor. He made a first edit that was very creative while having to adapt the film to the earlier described changes. He used almost all the footage we had, old and new images, including of me while working with the children."

Jamil: "For me it was important to include Moos because she is giving a big part of her life to take a stand for refugees. The film is a co-creation about what she does and what I am, a refugee. From this point of view, the film is a kind of biography. The fact that Moos was still in contact with the children I had known in 2016, was an important source of inspiration for our movie. We used more than four types and qualities of camera’s and combining those images was not easy. Colour correction was necessary to solve some problems and do justice to the storyline. Also due to the small budget we had to be smart."

A Bright Future Ahead

Moos: "We have our première very soon and we hope that CineSud will then coach us to find appropriate festivals. After the film’s appearance at these festivals, we want to post the movie online because we think the internet is an important means to reach a vast public, including refugees who try to represent."

Advise for Filmmakers

Moos and Jamil: "Yes, the moment you obtain the consent and enthusiasm of children and their families, go and film them as soon as possible!"

(c) All visual material is used with the filmmaker's permission.

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