Gangway to a Future

Gangway to a Future is a feature lenght documentary about the boat refugee crisis in the Mediterranean Sea, directed by René Hazekamp. It premiered at the International Film Festival Rotterdam 2018 and was nominated for the IFFR-KNF Award.


In the summer of 2017, a group of inexperienced idealists in the port of Rotterdam prepare for their voyage to the Mediterranean where they will pick up boat refugees for an NGO.

The former trawler is taken out of service and refitted. Plenty of discussions take place before restoration of the aging ship: how many doctors and nurses will staff the former fish store, now a treatment room? And should there be a cold store, for the deceased?

After the inevitable troubles, the ship – captained by a strong-willed Rotterdammer – arrives at its destination off the Libyan coast where the first refugee boats can be spotted and where, some say, pirates lurk. The unsuspecting volunteers and the camera witness a number of joyful rescues as well as the indelible sight of those for whom help came too late.