The Current

Documentary reveals secret remote island camps where Australia sends asylum seekers

For years, successive Australian governments diverted boatloads of refugees to camps on two remote islands, to hold them in indefinite detention. No information is allowed out but filmmaker Eva Orner found a way to document the devastating conditions.
The documentary, Chasing Asylum, gains unprecedented access to the remote island camps where Australia sends the asylum seekers turned away from its shores. (Chasing Asylum Film)

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Since 2001, it's been Australian policy to intercept refugee boats.

No journalist has ever been allowed to visit the two detention centres where intercepted refugees are taken. Both camps are far from Australia — one in Nauru, a small, impoverished Pacific island republic; the other in Papua New Guinea, although recent reports says this detention centre will be closing. 

Once refugees arrive at one of these camps, they're held for 400 to 500 days in a legal limbo, unable to process a refugee claim for Australia.

Academy Award-winning filmmaker Eva Orner calls Chasing Asylum"the film Australia doesn't want you to see." Hidden-camera footage shows, for the first time, what life is really like inside these refugee camps.

Director Eva Orner joined The Current's Anna Maria Tremonti to talk about her exposé. 

Chasing Asylum has its world premiere at the Hot Docs film Festival in Toronto Thursday night. 

This segment was produced by The Current's Sujata Berry.