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Hostile Film Screening

On 29 November, the Intellectual Forum screened Hostile, an award-winning feature-length documentary written, produced, and directed by BAFTA-longlisted filmmaker Sonita Gale. It focuses on the UK’s complicated relationship with its migrant communities.

"It was an honour to be at the Intellectual Forum of Jesus College with my film Hostile. As the film’s director, I’m keen to be able to use the film to make an impact in any way possible and I truly believe that the starting point for real change comes from our educational institutions. It was great to have such a lively and engaging debate following the film’s screening. 

Our Q&A tour has allowed us to take this film to universities, colleges and schools across the country. Part of our plan for 2023 is to put Hostile on class curriculums so the film will be accessible to all, as a first step to overcome these hostile immigration policies." - Sonita Gale 

After decades of hostile immigration policies, Britain has reached a crisis point. With Brexit, the Points Based Immigration System, and the Nationality and Borders Bill taking effect, Hostile asks: once the ‘hostile environment’ has targeted all migrants, who will it extend to next?

Told through the stories of four participants from Black and Asian backgrounds, Hostile reveals the impact of the evolving ‘hostile environment’ – a term used by the UK government in 2012 to illustrate the atmosphere they wanted to create for migrants, with the intention of provoking them to leave of their own accord.

The film explores how the lives of international students, members of the Windrush generation and ‘Highly-Skilled Migrants’ have been affected.

After the film, we were joined by the writer, director, and producer, Sonita Gale, for a Q&A. The film and the discussion afterwards were a powerful call to action that brought to light many overlooked but critical issues integral to our country today.

About the film

Sonita’s debut feature documentary as director, Hostile is an award-winning and BAFTA and BIFA-longlisted film exposing the ‘hostile environment’ for migrants living in the UK. Hostile has screened across the country at Picturehouse and independent cinemas, and has been selected for a number of international film festivals, including the NorthWestFest Film Festival, UK Asian Film Festival, Manchester Film Festival, Budapest Movie awards, ZagrebDox, Catalina Film Festival, British Urban Film Festival and the Berlin Lift Off Film Festival. In 2021, the film debuted at Raindance Film Festival and was an official selection of Cambridge Film Festival, London Migration Film Festival, and the South London Film Festival, where it won the award for Best Documentary Feature.

Hostile received a special mention for the Award of Excellence at the Impact DOCS Awards 2022, an honourable mention for Best Indie Film at the Best Indie Film Awards 2022. The film was also a finalist in the Melbourne Documentary Film Festival (in the ‘Supreme Award’ and ‘Best Director - International’ categories), and won Best Documentary Feature at Filmocracy Fest 2022 and the Roxbury International Film Festival 2022.

Find out more here.