Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 July 2019

Cinema designed for young refugees opens in Jordan's Zaatari camp - in pictures

The movie-house offers free screenings targeted towards younger viewers

The lights are ready, the cameras are on, and now it's action time for Cinema Zaatari.

The picture house has opened its doors in Jordan's Zaatari camp, offering refugees a "window to the world" with free screenings of films and documentaries.

The cinema, which is located in the world's largest camp for Syrian refugees around 80 kilometres from Amman, is the first permanent movie-house for Zaatari residents.

It was officially opened this week, with the inauguration attended by David Bertolotti, the French Ambassador to Jordan, and Princess Rym Ali, wife of Prince Ali bin Hussein of Jordan.

The 120-seat cinema opened its doors on June 23, and will offer daily screenings of family friendly international and regional movies, documentary films, animations and more, according to its website, as well as host cultural events and talks.

The cinema describes itself as "a welcoming space as an answer to the violence and madness of the world".

Cinema Zaatari is supported by the Lumiere a Zaatari non-profit foundation in Paris, which was set up in 2017 after a film crew visited the camp. French film director and producer Xavier Giannoli, co-founder of the cinema, decided to raise funds for the project.

"What we saw there moved us deeply and we felt compelled to do something," the cinema's website details. "We wanted to leave something behind after we had gone. We didn't want to leave and then forget."

The project was realised thanks to funds raised by donors, as well as support from Unicef and film production society Imaginarium Films.

Updated: June 25, 2019 12:39 PM

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