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Embassy of Austria

3524 International Court, NW

Washington, DC 20008

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Film Screening and Panel Discussion

About this Event

Films Across Borders, the annual multi-cultural film series, co-presented by American University in partnership with the ACF Washington and other embassies, cultural organizations, and environmental groups, focuses in its fifth edition on Stories of Water, to be presented at various locations throughout Washington, DC, in October and November, 2019.

The ACF Washington presents as part of the 2019 series the film STYX by Austrian director Wolfgang Fischer, followed by a panel discussion, on October 10, 2019.


Directed by Wolfgang Fischer, Germany/Austria, 2018, 94 min, in English

Premiering at the Berlinale, where it opened the Panorama Special section, STYX is a work of unrelenting intensity and technical brilliance. ER doctor Rike (Susanne Wolff) embarks on a one-woman solo sailing trip to Ascension Island in the Atlantic. When Rike comes across a sinking ship of refugees, she is quickly torn out of her contented and idealized world and must make a momentous decision. Aptly named after the mythological river that separates the living from the dead, STYX is an astute modern-day parable of Western indifference in the face of marginalized suffering. Carrying practically the entire film, Wolff is riveting as a woman pushed to her physical, psychological and moral limits.


The panel discussion, following the screening, will address the general question about today’s worldwide refugee crises (as exemplary shown in the film), as well as how the world will deal with migration and the refugee situation on a broader scale in the future, facing new challenges like climate change migrants.

HELEN DEMPSTER, Center for Global Development

DEARBHLA DOYLE, Delegation of the European Union

LIZ LIZAMA, International Organization for Migration

Moderated by SARAH WILDMAN, Journalist

The discussion is followed by a Q&A session.


HELEN DEMPSTER | Center for Global Development

Helen Dempster is the Assistant Director and Senior Associate for Policy Outreach for the Migration, Displacement, and Humanitarian Policy Program at the Center for Global Development (CGD). Prior to joining CGD, she worked for five years in research communications at the Overseas Development Institute and the International Growth Centre. Dempster holds a MicroMasters in Data, Economics and Development Policy from MIT, a master’s in Africa and International Development from the University of Edinburgh, and undergraduate degrees in Law, Public Policy and International Relations from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.

DEARBHLA DOYLE | Delegation of the European Union

Dearbhla Doyle joined the EU Delegation in September 2018. An experienced diplomat, she has spent most of her career to date working for the Department of Foreign Affairs of Ireland. As an Irish Diplomat, she has worked in a range of policy areas including Press, Anglo-Irish, Political and European Affairs. She served as Vice Consul at the Consulate- General of Ireland in Shanghai from 2000 to 2003, and as Political Counsellor and Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of Ireland in Rome from 2008-2011. She worked as the Irish European Correspondent from 2011 to 2014, where she headed the Political Secretariat and coordinated Ireland’s positions with regard to the Common Foreign and Security Policy.

Ms. Doyle joined the European External Action Service in 2014 where she worked in the Department for Europe and Central Asia on the EU’s Eastern Partnership and Arctic policies, and on Strategic Communications. Most recently, she served as Political Assistant to the Managing Director for Europe and Central Asia from 2016 to 2018.

A native of Dublin, Ireland, Dearbhla has a degree in International Commerce and Italian from University College Dublin, and spent a year on Erasmus at the Università degli Studi, Bologna. She has a Master of Business Studies from the U.C.D. Smurfit Graduate School of Business.

LIZ LIZAMA | International Organization for Migration

Liz Lizama is the Communications and Social Media Coordinator for the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Washington, DC. Prior to IOM, she worked in strategic communications at United Nations Headquarters where she focused on promoting the organization's human rights portfolio. She also held editorial roles both at the World Health Organization and United Nations. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communication from the University of Maryland, College Park and a master's degree in journalism from American University in Washington, DC.

SARAH WILDMAN | Podcast Producer & Host of First Person at Foreign Policy

Sarah Wildman is Producer & Host of the First Person podcast at Foreign Policy (FP) and is the author of Paper Love: Searching for the Girl My Grandfather Left Behind (Riverhead). Prior to joining FP, she was the global identities and borders writer at Vox. She was the recipient of the German Marshall Fund’s 2010 Peter R. Weitz Prize, awarded for excellence and originality in European coverage. She was an Arthur F. Burns fellow in Berlin in 2008 and a Milena Jesenska Fellow at the IWM in Vienna in 2006. Sarah has been a regular contributor to the New York Times, Slate, the Forward, Washingtonian (where she is a contributing editor), and the New Yorker online, among other publications for a long time.

Film | Styx (c) Benedict Neuenfels


Parking on International Court is available after 6:30 pm (for the duration of the event) or on 36th Street; access to the Embassy through the park behind the building.

A registration is not a guarantee of a seat as these are assigned on a first-come first-served basis. Doors close at event start-time.

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Embassy of Austria

3524 International Court, NW

Washington, DC 20008

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