17-year-old Wasiullah is a teenager like the rest of them. He hangs out with his friends, cracks jokes, takes selfies and flirts with girls. Denmark has become his home after spending three years in asylum centres after arriving alone from Afghanistan. But when Wasiullah turns 18 and his asylum application is rejected, he is suddenly forced to leave the country. He fears for his life in Afghanistan and with the violent family he fled from, and chooses to flee to Italy in the hope that an Italian residence permit will allow him to return to Denmark. The director Michael Graversen has followed Wasiullah for years, and the close relationship between them has given him a unique level of access to a young immigrant's underground existence in Europe. For Wasi, the dream of returning to his friends and a life in Denmark is the only thing that keeps him going. Graversen follows the young boy with the big backpack on the long train journey to close police stations and detention centres, and nights spent in dilapidated ruins, where the dreams take him back to Denmark. Wasiullah is one of the between 300 and 800 unaccompanied children who flee to Denmark every year.
- 1st Prize Documentary Feature (Professional Jury) - Chicago ICFF
- Michael Graversen
- Michael Graversen
- Rebekka Jørgensen
- Sofie Steenberger
- Katharina Nuttall
- Uno Helmersson
My favorite was Michael Graversen's Dreaming of Denmark, which directly puts you in the shoes of an Afghan teenager
Danish filmmaker Michael Graversen has received wide festival acclaim with his films that are known to deal with existential or social relevant themes. The intimate portrait of an young Afghan refugee in DREAMING OF DENMARK (2015) earned him a CPH:DOX F:ACT Award nomination and NO MAN'S LAND (2013), a strong depiction of life at a children's asylum center was selected for IDFA and 25+ festivals. Previous films include the shorts AN ANXIOUS MIND (2012), TOXIC GROUND (2006) and THE LAST NIGHT SHIFT (2012). Michael Graversen graduated in Documentary Directing from the National Film and TV School in the UK and holds a BA in Film & Media Science and Psychology from Copenhagen University.