Welcome to the 2017 edition of Bahrain’s Building Bridges Film Festival (BBFF). We are excited to have you join us for our second year.
Like so many things, BBFF began with a conversation. Eman, Tessa, and Munira are humanitarians in Bahrain involved in charitable activities. Eman provides psycho-social work for Syrian refugees in Germany and wanted to develop a fundraiser for Syrian refugee initiatives. She talked it over with Tessa and Munira. Tessa suggested the event screen an award-winning film called “Salam Neighbour”, which documented the experiences of two young Americans who lived for a month among 85,000 Syrian refugees in the Za’atari camp in Jordan. The documentary was produced by Mohab, another resident of Bahrain. Naturally, that led to coffee.
From that meeting in September 2016 sprang the idea of BBFF, a charitable documentary film festival, and Bahrain’s first officially sanctioned festival. And thanks to our sponsors, venues, and volunteers, we pulled it all off in three months.
BBFF was conceived to connect people across cultures, nationalities, and religions through humanitarian efforts, music, art, food, humor, and more. We wanted to humanize the other, the people in crisis that we normally ignore in order to spur a compassionate response. To enable that response, we partnered with the incomparable Sheikha Hind and her Children and Mothers Welfare Society. Last year’s festival was a big hit, we made money, and we used all the profits for charitable endeavors, including funding the fit-out of a shelter for unaccompanied refugee children in Athens.
And Bahrain asked us for more. So, Eman, Mohab, Tessa, and Munira are back, joined by Adriana and a plethora of volunteers, venues, and sponsors, with a bigger and more exciting slate of documentaries to help more of the others. Beyond building bridges, we want to tap Bahrain’s compassionate heart to develop additional charitable programs for refugees in Europe, including creating and funding another shelter for unaccompanied refugee children in Greece.
We invite you to read the following pages to learn more about this year’s exciting festival.
With love and compassion from our hearts to yours,
Eman, Mohab, Munira, Tessa, Adriana, and all our volunteers, sponsors, and venues