To challenge the stereotypes usually held about one of the most excluded and stigmatized communities in Europe, Roma, UNDP has launched a virtual reality film titled ‘I am Fatmira.’
The seven-minute film was shot in Füshe-Krüja, Albania. Roma activist Fatmira Dajlani takes the viewer into the Roma community through her eyes and her life story. She married young at 14, dropped out of school, and had two children before the age of 18. Her story depicts Roma’s numerous challenges, including education, lack of employment, discrimination, early marriage, and migration.
But Fatmira bravely quashed the stereotypes. She quit her marriage to become an activist, went back to school to complete her education, and founded an advocacy organization, Jemi dhe ne (We are Here Too), for her community.
“Fatmira’s story reflects the diversity of the larger Roma community and the power of the individual to improve it,” said producer Karen Cirillo.
The film first premiered on 9 April at the European Parliament in Brussels during the EU Roma Week. The screening also coincided with presenting the first statistics on the Roma community in the Western Balkans in seven years.
UNDP had taken the film along with the VR equipment to Roma communities in Albania, including the locations where it was shot, to show it to them before unveiling it out to the rest of the world.
“The Roma communities that we showed the film to responded strongly to the film,” said Cirillo. “They saw Fatmira as an inspiring role model and were very proud of the work that she was doing in the community.”
The virtual reality film was directed by Dan Hodgson and Simon Nazer and produced by Karen Cirillo with the support of UNDP and the European Union.
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