CHICAGO - Vanessa Redgrave is known around the world for her achievements on the stage and screen, and her social activism.
Redgrave has garnered an Oscar, numerous Tony and Emmy Awards, and now the Visionary Award from the Chicago International Film Festival. It's not for her acting, but writing and directing a passionate documentary on the global refugee crisis.
"One of the reasons I'm so grateful to come here to this festival and show the film, to be able to talk to everyone, just for a little bit, we're making *live* contact, not just on the social stuff," Redgrave said.
"Sea Sorrow" is the 80-year-old Redgrave's first outing as a director. She has always coupled her career with activism. With this film, the sea is a theme with the journeys people are forced to take. The impetus for doing the documentary came from one family who attempted such a voyage.
"No refugee is given safe, secure, legal, free passage out of hell, which is, I think, our duty," Redgrave said.
Redgrave's producer is Carlo Nero, her son with longtime partner and now husband, Italian actor Franco Nero.
"Carlo is a real filmmaker, he's been making films for a number of years which I've been a producer on, along with others," she said.
"In many ways it was also a very creative collaboration, so I am pleased that ultimately the film that you wanted to make is up there on the screen," Nero said.