* One World International Film Festival (Prague 2, Czech Republic)
* Antenna International Documentary Film Festival (Sydney, Australia)
*CPH:DOX (Denmark)
* Docaviv (Tel Aviv, Israel)
* Dok.Fest Münich (Germany)
* Sheffield Doc/Fest (UK)
* TRT (Oran/Ankara, Turkey)
* Doc Edge (Auckland, New Zealand)
* Encounters South African International Documentary Festival (Cape Town, South Africa)
* Docville / Fonk (Belgium)
* Movies that Matter Foundation (Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
* Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival (USA)
* DocumentaMadrid (Spain)
* DMZ DOCS (Bucheon-si, South Korea)
* Human Rights Arts & Film Festival (HRAFF) (Melbourne, Australia)
* True/False Film Fest (Columbia, MO, USA)
* Biografilm Festival | International Celebration of lives (Bologna, Italy)
* Crossing Europe Film Festival (Linz, Austria)
* Docs Against Gravity Film Festival (Poland)
* Montclair Film Festival (Montclair, NJ , USA)
* CineDoc-Tbilisi - Documentary film festival (Georgia )
* Panorama du Film Européen (Cairo, Egypt)
* True Stories: New Non-Fiction from Europe (New York , USA)
* Docville / Fonk (Leuven, Belgium)
* Wisconsin Film Festival (Madison, USA)
* DocedgeKolkata (India)
* DocuTIFF (Tirana, Albania)
* Freiburger film forum (Germany)
* Norwegian Film Institute (Oslo, Norway)
* SalinaDocFest (Palermo, Italy)
* Palic European film Festival (Subotica, Serbia)
* Guanajuato International Film Festival Expresion En Corto (San Miguel de Allende, Gto., Mexico)
* Split Film Festival (Croatia)
* Camden International Film Festival (USA)
* Message to Man International Film Festival (St Petersburg, Russia)
* Manaki Brothers International Film Festival (Skopje, Macedonia)
* Bergen International Film Festival (Norway)
* Nuremberg International Human Rights Film Festival (Germany)
* Milwaukee Film Festival (USA)
* Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival (USA)
* IndieCork Festival (Ireland)
* DokuBaku IDFF (Baku, Azerbaijan)

* Grand Geneva Award - Festival du Film et Forum International sur les Droits Humains.
"For its innovative form and cuttingly intelligent engagement with the key moral issue facing the world today. Stranger in Paradise is packed with argument and information as well as being deeply affecting. It stayed with each of us, and we imagine it will trigger vigorous and fresh debate. It carries within it the possibility of reigniting our relationship to the concept of inalienable rights and deserves to be seen as widely as possible."
* Audiance Award - Biografilm Festival
* Best Film Hera Nuovi Talenti - Biografilm Festival

Stranger in Paradise

Category |Current Affairs, Justice, Migration, Politics, Social Issues
Year | 2016
Country | The Netherlands
Running time | 72’
Format | HD
Production | Zeppers Film &TV
Director | Guido Hendrikx

In a classroom in Sicily, just inside the walls of Fortress Europe, recently arrived refugees receive lessons from a teacher (Valentijn Dhaenens) who has some rather unbalanced traits. One moment he mercilessly rejects the refugees – the next, mollifyingly, he embraces them. Operating at the intersection of documentary and fiction, Stranger in Paradise investigates the power relations between Europe and refugees.

Europe is represented by a teacher who drags his class of refugees down into his despair. A plea that borders on the immoral; a welcome charged with a guilt complex; and the compromise between these, made policy: Stranger in Paradise is an unflinching film essay on the mechanisms through which Europe tackles the refugees’ desire for happiness.

Director's statement : GUIDO HENDRIKX

"Stranger in Paradise: A blunt and honest look at Europe and refugees."
   - by Vladan Petkovic - Cineuropa

''The stylised doc weighs up the right and left views on E.U. immigration then sheds light on some of the harsh realities''
   - Damon Wise - Variety

''Stranger in Paradise, which opens Dutch documentary festival IDFA, is, quite literally, a classroom exercise which assembles would-be migrants in a Lampedusa detention centre and gives them – and the viewer – a brutally direct lesson in the realities of European refugee politics. ''
   - by Fionnuala Halligan, Chief Film Critic - ScreenDaily




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Guido Hendrikx

Guido Hendrikx

Director’s Statement

“I tried to look down on the Earth from above. Contemplatively, and far removed from moral judgements. It started in May 2013, with a visit to the Italian island of Lampedusa. There, I met some of the migrants who have landed up there, their hopeful dreams for the future seeming to clash with a Europe that has little to offer them. I was struck by the power relations: how those with happiness treat the desire for happiness in others.

The contours for this film that formed them have changed little since. I wanted to make the power relationship I observed from a distance (and then later, during the research phase, up close) not so much visible, as feelable. For me, film is war with the viewer. Once I had become aware of the moral implications, I obsessively forced myself to depict reality as accurately as possible. Perhaps this is why it became an absurd film..

There were many exceptional moments during the shooting period. When, after a long conversation with a man from Mali, I asked him how he saw Europe: after a brief hesitation he replied, ‘I can only really say something about myself.’ He refused to give an opinion on Europe. Looking at the film now – it is a snapshot – what I see is the desire for happiness of these others getting dashed against waves of European self-satisfaction and self-interest.”.

Guido Hendrikx, Amsterdam, October 2016