In 1999, as the war in Kosovo was raging, world famous producer, Caroline Baron (Monsoon Wedding, Capote) tuned into a radio story covering the crisis.
The report explained that the key necessities — food, medicine, and shelter —were being handled by large humanitarian aid agencies, but the boredom and hopelessness felt by the Kosovar refugees was also a major unresolved problem.
Coming from the film industry, this sparked an idea for Caroline: she would bring movies to the camps. A few weeks later, Caroline was joined with a team of volunteers and set off on FilmAid's first mission.
For eight weeks in 1999, FilmAid held screenings of silent films, cartoons and family-oriented feature films for a few hundred to as many as four thousand children and their families in the refugee camps in Macedonia and in the war-torn communities of Kosovo.
FilmAid employed local people to run the programs and trained them in technical skills. In addition to screening entertaining films, FilmAid also projected essential information on land mine awareness, a critical issue at the time.
This project was so well received that the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and UNHCR invited FilmAid to extend and expand their activities on a global scale.
ABOUT KOSOVO & MACEDONIA
1.8 million population in Kosovo / 2.1 million population in Macedonia
February 28, 1998 Kosovo war begins
600,000 residents of Kosovo become refugees during the war
150,000 Kosovar refugees enter Macedonia during the war
OUR WORK HERE
1999 FilmAid founder, Caroline Baron, starts our first ever program
Work ran for 8 weeks
Thousands of families attended screenings of cartoons, silent movies, family films
Additional screenings on land mine awareness