Skip to content

Screen31 Short: The Story of Rand and Omar

25 Jun 2018

Our marvelous Screen31 group collaborated with a couple of young Syrian refugees in Kent to tell their story in a short film.  The short was presented at Gulbenkian’s Refugee Week 2018 Celebration on Wednesday 20 June.

We asked Annabel, a member of Screen31, to tell us a little bit about her experience creating the short:

“SCREEN31 is a group of young people I am a part of who convene to create films. We were given the task of making a short documentary-style film about the experience of Syrian refugees to screen at the Gulbenkian’s Refugee Week event. It was the story of siblings Rand and Omar that we told. The pair visited us periodically throughout the creative process, which was one that involved interviewing them, thinking up visuals, physically making and filming those visuals and editing the whole thing together. Working around challenges is a natural part of film-making, so we quickly adapted to their request to not be filmed and only have audio recorded. I came to know the transcript well, and some of Rand’s lines were heart-wrenching, for example “all the happiness was upside down”. With sensitive themes involved, such as war, kidnapping and islamophobia, mastering the balance between staying truthful but still tasteful was tricky. It is my view that we achieved it well.

I worked with an incredible team of hardworking individuals who all wanted to do Rand and Omar’s story justice. Our organisation was key: Tanicha, as the Creative Director, was especially indispensable to the making of the final product. The tireless efforts of all the young people involved resulted in the piece coming together in time for the deadline. The experience as a whole was invaluable to me, right from getting to know Rand personally and presenting the film with her at the Refugee Week event, to editing the 30 minute interview down to 2 and a half minutes, to learning the art of furiously cutting out pieces of paper to make a Syrian town. I would encourage others to take up the chance to involve yourself with refugees and hear their stories. It is vital to see them for who they are.”

The Story of Rand and Omar will be played before feature film The Breadwinner at the Gulbenkian’s cinema on Sunday 1 July.

Watch the short film online here

Find out more about Screen31 here


ART31 takes its name from Article 31 of the UN Convention on the Rights of a Child, which states that ‘Children have the right to relax and play, and to join in a wide range of cultural, artistic and other recreational activities’.

ART31 is a vision created with, by, and for young people in Kent, championing the belief that all children and young people have an entitlement to access high quality arts and culture, to empower them to achieve their creative potential, and to genuinely engage young people as equal partners in any decision making that affects them.

The ART31 Youth Board is made up of young people from across Kent aged 13-25 who steer its governance, and influence policy and practice across the county and beyond, challenging the creative sector to examine existing ways of working and integrate young people into the core of their practice.

Our projects with young people

Film tickets

See what other events are happening at the Gulbenkian
What's on Link icon