Loughborough Alumni


19 Dec 2016

Alumnus directs film showcasing a project helping Afghan refugee families

Louis Chan, a 2013 Loughborough graduate of English with a minor in North American Literature and Film, has recently embarked upon a new venture documenting the lives of a community of Afghan refugees living in Iran.

Following graduation Louis set up his own film production company, Fresh Look Films, in 2015 with fellow alumnus Kobbie Kessie. Fresh Look Films produced the upcoming film, Ilia, documenting a football camp for Afghan refugees.

Before studying at Loughborough, Louis worked as a part-time football coach where he coached Ilia producer Tarik Ben Brahim. Several years later, Ben Brahim had been working closely with the Popli Khalatbari Charitable Foundation (PKCF) when he approached Louis and Fresh Look Films to co-produce the film with him.

Ilia documents a football camp for refugee children, a Shia muslim people mainly originating from the town of Hazara in Afghanistan, however, due to years of civil unrest, now living within the impoverished area of Shahr-e-Rey, downtown Tehran. The short film is working to show that football can be “more than just a game” for youngsters. The film has recently been completed and will be released online in January 2017.

Ilia premiered at the BAFTA recognised Aesthetica Short Film festival, as well as being nominated for Best Non Fiction Film at the Winchester Film Festival.

Most recently, the football camp has gained a sponsorship partnership with Inter Milan FC as well as raising £13,000 to crowdfund the project through Indiegogo. What was initially a two-week summer camp is now given on a weekly basis, led by Haadi Faramarzy, a local coach also working with Paykan FC, a top division Iranian Football Club. Children aged 9-17 years old will benefit from the ongoing project.

You can find out more by watching the Ilia trailer online or keep up to date via Louis' Twitter. Look out for the full film directed/edited by Louis Chan in January 2017.

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