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On the Bride’s Side

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A group of five Syrian and Palestinian refugees who have fled to Europe to escape the war in Syria find themselves in Milan. There they meet a Palestinian poet and an Italian journalist, who decide to help the group complete their journey to Sweden. In order to ensure the safe passage of the refugees and to prevent their allies from being arrested as traffickers they come up with a radical plan: faking a wedding. With a Palestinian friend dressed as the bride and a dozen Italian and Syrian friends as wedding guests, the group cross Europe on an epic journey towards new possibilities.

Running Time: 98 min.
Subject(s): Activism, Current Affairs, European History, Family, Globalization, Human Rights, Immigration and Migration, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Law and Justice, Middle Eastern Studies, Personal Story, Politics, Society
Language(s): Arabic, Italian
Subtitles: English
Producer(s): DocLab
Cinematographer: Antonio Augugliaro, Gianni Bonardi, Marco Artusi, Valentina Bonifacio
Editor(s): Antonio Augugliaro
Production Company: Gina Films, DocLab


  • In this audacious documentary, the directors meet in an apartment in Milan with a group of their friends who have agreed to bring five undocumented immigrants from Syrian and Palestine across Europe to take refuge in Sweden... A strange film about the hot-button topic of European immigration, this is recommended.
  • The film provides a heartbreakingly human face to the crisis and is essential viewing for anyone who could use a reality check on these events, which is probably everyone. This documentary is highly recommended for public and academic libraries and is ideal for courses on immigration, human rights, and the Middle East Conflict.
    Educational Media Reviews Online
  • Documentary makers may face prosecution after dressing a group of refugees as a wedding party to hoodwink border guards
  • On the Bride's Side: a wedding arranged to smuggle 5 Syrian refugees in Europe
    Hanan Razek, BBC Arabic
  • A fake wedding convoy to mock Fortress Europe's borders
    Mariangela Paone, EL PAIS
  • Film captures mad odyssey of Syrian refugees through Europe
    FRANCE 24
  • These Guys Faked a Wedding to Smuggle Syrian Refugees and Filmed It
    Mat Nashed, VICE NEWS
  • Not simply a film, but a political manifesto”
    Guiseppina Manin, CORRIERE DELLA SERA
  • A beautiful lesson of humanity and civil solidarity
  • Collateral Award - Human Rights Nights Award
    “For the courage and originality of a crowdfunded operation which reminds us in a light and profound way that every migrant is not a number but a human being”
  • Fedic Award - Italian Federation of Cineclubs
    “Because it is the prototype of a new model for independent and participated cinema, both on the productive and on the authorial level”.
  • Social Critic Award “Sorriso Diverso”
    “For the great and brave example of civil disobedience against inhuman laws. For the strength of the images of many scenes. For the innovative form of production that involved more than 2.600 donators, making On the Bride's Side the most important crowdfunding ever made in the Italian cinema”.2015 Doc Edge Film Festival, New Zealand
  • Grand Prize Of Geneva
    “For the beautiful lesson of humanity and solidarity amongst citizens, which sorely lacks today. For the commitment and the courage of the directors who succeeded in following this human adventure until the end of the dream and whom made it possible, as well as for the intelligence and unique perspective with which they treated the subject.”

Festival Participation

  • Venice International Film Festival, Italy - 2014
    Collateral Award - Human Rights Nights Award
  • Doc Edge Film Festival, New Zealand - 2015
    Social Critic Award “Sorriso Diverso”
  • Milano Film Festival - 2014
  • International Documentary Festival Amsterdam - 2014
  • Dubai International Film Festival - 2014
  • Karama Human Rights Film Festival - 2014
  • Gothenburg Film Festival - 2015
  • Terra di Cinema Film Festival - 2015
    Best Documentary Award
  • FIFDH Film Festival - 2015
    Grand Prize Of Gene
  • Titanic InternationalFilm Festival - 2015
  • Movies That Matter Film Festival - 2015
  • Tetouan Mediterranean Film Festival - 2015
  • Terra Di Cinema Film Festival - 2015
  • San Sebastian Human Rights Film Festival - 2015
  • Hot Docs Festival - 2015
  • Sofia InternationalFilm Festival - 2015
  • Beirut Cinema Days - 2015
  • Zagreb DOX - 2015
  • San Cristobal Film Festival - 2015
  • Lima Censurados Film Festival - 2015
  • Oslo Human Rights Human Wrongs Film Festival - 2015
  • Stuttgart Film Winter - 2015
  • Brussels Mediterranean Film Festival - 2015

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