Chasing Asylum

Eva Orner

Chasing Asylum
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Chasing Asylum

Eva Orner

Filmmaker Eva Orner takes us on a personal, gripping and compelling journey to show us how she came to make her documentary about Australia’s asylum seeker policies.


‘My work as a filmmaker has taken me to some wild, dangerous places … It’s been a crazy, nomadic kind of life, taking me to conflict zones and desperately poor, chaotic, unstable countries. I’ve been sick, injured, scared and had too many close calls to mention. I spend a lot of time alone, in airports, lugging camera gear, gazing up at flickering departure boards.‘ But I love it. I love the feeling I get when I am heading into the unknown.’

Angry and frustrated with Australia’s asylum seeker and refugee policies, Eva Orner, Academy Award-winning filmmaker, returned home after a decade living in the States to make the documentary Chasing Asylum about the issue. Embarking on a tumultuous eighteen months, Eva travelled to Indonesia, Cambodia, Lebanon, Afghanistan and Iran, spending time with and filming asylum seekers, as well as interviewing politicians, activists and commentators including David Marr and Malcolm Fraser. She smuggled a pen camera into an Indonesian jail to interview a convicted people smuggler, she talked to whistle blowers in Australia, and in Iran she met with the family of the man killed in the Manus Island riot.

Chasing Asylum is a compelling insight into a filmmaker’s journey, and a very personal story of the cost, risks and rewards of putting yourself on the line for a film and for a cause.

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