Swimming in gold

Thomas Pagliaro  - 12'47"



Qassem and Abdullah were children when their family fled Afghanistan in the 1980s, to arrive in Iran as refugees. Now after 30 years and with families of their own, Qassem is risking it all for a brighter future and waits in a refugee camp in Berlin, Germany. Abdullah remains behind in Iran to struggle on, choosing his family’s safety over the uncertainty of going to Europe. Both Qassem and Abdullah put family first, as they balance their desire for safety with the hope of giving their children the opportunities they never had.


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Director not to present this film for Public, the Jury can award the film through private screening.

Thomas Pagliaro

Tom began his career as a political lobbyist at Bespoke Approach in Adelaide and Darwin, Australia. After spending almost four years there, Tom decided to redirect his understanding of politics and media into documentary filmmaking and moved to Berlin, Germany in 2015. Tom’s first production, ‘What has Bondi done to my brother?’ (2016), was a short documentary about his relationship with his older and once estranged brother. Having studied Economics and Liberal Arts in Australia and travelled to over 60 countries, Tom thrives in unfamiliar surroundings. His diverse experiences, combined with his Italian and Lebanese migrant background, drives Tom to use storytelling to reflect and explore the world’s complexity and the choices people make in it.