On Friday, September 24th, Sarita, a film written and directed by Sergio Basso, premiered at the Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF).
Sergio Basso is this year’s SNF Centre for Hellenic Studies’ Hellenisms Past and Present, Local and Global postdoctoral fellow, who is currently completing his book manuscript which theorizes a new paradigm for the genesis of the “Barlaam and Ioasaph” hagiographic novel. His research interests include Greek palaeography, 11th century Byzantine literature, the Byzantine presence along the Silk Road, Manichaeism, and Chinese art history and archaeology.
In 2007, scholar, award-winning filmmaker, and screenwriter, Sergio Basso, was invited to visit a Khudunabari refugee camp in Nepal as part of his work at the time with the Italian branch of the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC).
As Sergio began forging relationships with the camp’s inhabitants, he started to learn about the plight of the Bhutanese Lhotshampa refugees, specifically of their experiences with police violence and government ethnic-cleansing campaigns. After visiting the camp several times following his initial stay, Sergio decided to use his talent for filmmaking to reveal the often underreported stories of the refugees’ struggles and resilience.
Sarita, a musical, shares the odyssey of a thirteen-year-old refugee and her family, who are forced to overcome government suppression, displacement and a silent international community, in their pursuit to find a better future.
The 39th edition of the Vancouver International Film Festival runs from September 24th to October 7th of this year.
Purchase tickets on the VIFF website to watch Sarita online.