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Outreach   /  Simon Kurian


The three word slogan that distorted the meaning of asylum seeking in Australia.


Impact areas



  • DIRECTOR Simon Kurian

  • PRODUCER Geethanjali Kurian & Sarah Kurian



Stop the Boats tells the story of how Australia used a three word slogan to demonise people seeking asylum after fleeing war and persecution, condemning them to indefinite offshore detention and torture in prison camps on Manus and Nauru.

The stories are told by asylum seekers including children from within detention centres, secretly filmed on mobile phones and smuggled out from Nauru and Manus Island on USBs, few shots at a time. This is set against interviews with whistle-blower detention centre workers. The harrowing stories of the child abuse and criminal neglect are exposed through this film. Featured in the film is Behrouz Boochani, the Kurdish journalist and writer who has been in detention in Manus for nearly 6 years now.

Support this project

7.70% funded
  • $30,000.00

  • $2,310.00

  • September 2019

  • 3

Minimum amount is $ Maximum amount is $





Jackson Bankes $10.00
Marion Andreani $10.00

Issue Summary

A short summary of the issue the documentary is addressing

Since 2013, the Stop the Boats policy and Operation Sovereign Borders have seen the Australian Government exiling to offshore detention centres on Manus Island, PNG and the island nation of Nauru, over 2000 people including 150 children who arrived by boat on Australian shores seeking asylum. This was done in blatant abrogation of its responsibilities under the International Asylum Seeker Conventions to which it is a signatory. The conditions in the prison camps and the treatment of detainees was brutal with 100s of incidents of violence, self harm, suicide attempts, rape, child sexual and physical abuse and mental illness. Several deaths occurred in detention.


What is the impact vision statement of the documentary?

To raise awareness about Australia's cruel asylum seeker policy and influence change in national policy by engaging broad audiences in a meaningful discussion on asylum and the scale and urgency of global movement of peoples due to wars and conflict.


What outcomes does the project hope to achieve from making this documentary?

Expose the brutality of the Australian asylum seeker policy.

Raise the awareness of the scale and reality of the displacement of peoples globally dues to war, conflict and civil unrest.

A positive impact on how communities actively welcome, support and include people seeking asylum and refugees who have been settled in their communities.


How will this documentary achieve its outcomes?

Through multiple public theatrical screenings.

A community outreach and impact strategy will be driven through partnerships with NGOs, community and grassroots organisations, universities, schools and other public institutions in Australia and overseas.


How will partnerships with this project help inform the project development?

Ongoing. For details and if interested in partnerships please contact the filmmakers through their Facebook Page.

Audience Engagement and Social Impact

What actions does this project hope for its viewers after seeing this film?

Please join our Facebook page to engage and take action in support of people seeking asylum and refugees in your communities.

Measurement and Evaluation

What is the projects indicators for success?

We want to reach the broadest possible audience across Australia and overseas. In Australia hundreds have already seen the film at multiple theatrical screenings in cities including Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane, Noosa, Darwin and Adelaide. It is a Centrepiece film in the 2019 Human Rights Arts and Film Festival and was also part of the Refugee Film Festival 2018. The second phase which is now ongoing is the community outreach and engagement and social impact strategy for which we have and continue to build partnerships with NGOs, community and grassroots agencies, schools, universities and peak bodies. Already the screenings have generated discussion on the issues with the common refrain during post screening discussions being what can we do to better support people seeking asylum and how can we help influence change in public perception and policy. Many of them are engaged with us through the film's Facebook page.