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Rafiki

English title: Rafiki
Original title: Bestevenner
German title: Rafiki
Norway, 2009

Director: Lo, Christian
Production company: Filmbin
Age recommendation: 8 years and up

Synopsis:
One day, Mette and Julie’s best friend Naisha runs away from the refugee centre where she lives. She and her mother have been told that their refugee application has been rejected, and that they will be sent back home. Mette and Julie decide they will find Naisha and her mother, and help them so they can stay in Norway. The problem is only that Julie’s dad is a policeman; that Julie and Mette are only nine years old, that Oslo is a long way from home, and that Christmas is approaching.

Mette and Julie embark on a dramatic journey. They find Naisha, but her mother is apprehended by the police, and the three girls have to manage on their own. With courage and ingenuity, they manage to enter a question time session in Parliament, and Julie creates hullabaloo when she poses a direct question about why Naisha is not allowed to stay in Norway. The girls are thrown out of the Parliament building. Naisha is sent to the police, and Mette and Julie return home and grieve the loss of their friend.

But at the end-of-term Christmas celebration at school, it turns out that Julie’s petition has been heard by the authorities anyway. Naisha and her mother are allowed to stay in Norway, and Christmas turns out to be a joyful season for the three best friends.

Festivals:
Berlin Generation 2010, BUFF Malmö 2010, Montreal 2010 (awarded), Kristiansand 2010, Giffoni 2010, Frankfurt 2010, Buster Copenhagen 2010, Chicago 2010, Castellinaria Bellinzona 2010, Ale Kino Poznan 2010, Olympia Pyrgos 2010, Sprockets Toronto 2011, Golden Elephant Hyderabad 2011, ICFF Bangladesh Dhaka 2013,TIFF Kids Toronto 2013, Universal Kids FF Istanbul 2013, Cinekid Amsterdam 2014

Website: http://bestevenner.no

Study guide: Flemish

Study guide: German

Study guide: Norwegian

Some additional media: Digital filmpage (Flemish)

World sales address/es:
Filmbin (No)
Svensk Filmindustri (S)

Sold to:
Svensk FI (NO)
Jef (BE)
Bundesverband Jugend und Film (D)
Filmconfect