Leave to Remain

Leave to Remain 15


Please note: This was screened in June 2015

Bruce Goodison
Noof Ousellam, Masieh Zarrien, Yasmin Mwanza, Toby Jones
89 mins, 2013, UK

Social discrimination and the challenges of adjusting to a new life are given powerful, emotive force in this inspirational coming of age drama that delves into the unseen world of teenage asylum seekers in the UK.

When Omar, a charismatic Afghan teenager finds himself at the precarious juncture of having his refugee status decided, the arrival of a boy from back home threatens to change everything. Recently arrived in the UK, shy and scared Abdul is placed in a shelter for young asylum seekers where he encounters a society and a system that is seemingly rigged against him. Setting off a chain of events that threaten his asylum status, Omar is left with a decision between telling the truth or telling a good story. Faced with a system that seemingly resembles a cruel game of chance, it’s via a fatherly English teacher Nigel (Toby Jones) who takes them under his wing, helping them to learn English, supporting their asylum applications and adjustment to life in a different country, that the difficulties and emotions young people face in this situation are sensitively revealed.

Featuring a excellent soundtrack from Alt-J, this is a timely cinematic take on the experience of many seeking refuge in the UK and one of surprisingly few films to explore the complex issues surrounding the asylum process and the plight of refugees living in contemporary Britain.

  • With an introduction by Rich Warren (Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival producer) and followed by a post screening Q&A with the film's producer Kate Cook.

Screening as part of Refugee Week in partnership with Afrika Eye Festival.