Chasing Asylum exposes the real impact of Australia’s offshore detention policies through the personal accounts of people seeking asylum and whistleblowers who tried to work within the system.


Filmmakers: Eva Orner
Year: 2016
Length: 96 mins
Country: Australia
Format: HD


Chasing Asylum exposes the real impact of Australia’s offshore detention policies and explores how ‘The Lucky Country’ became a country where leaders choose detention over compassion and governments deprive the desperate of their basic human rights.

The film features never before seen footage from inside Australia’s offshore detention camps, revealing the personal impact of sending those in search of a safe home to languish in limbo.

Chasing Asylum explores the mental, physical and fiscal consequences of Australia’s decision to lock away families in unsanitary conditions hidden from media scrutiny, destroying their lives under the pretext of saving them.


'Vital and gutwrenching' ★★★★ - The Guardian

'The revealing and frequently heartbreaking documentary is bound to create shockwaves' - Variety

'A shocking expose' - Forbes

'A no-holds-barred expose of injustice, Chasing Asylum inspires a visceral reaction that is likely to resonate with viewers around the world' - ScreenDaily

'The passion, conviction, and courage displayed throughout make this one compelling and persuasive doc." - POV Magazine


Academy and Emmy Award winner Eva Orner is an Australian filmmaker recently back home after ten years based in Los Angeles and New York. Eva’s latest film is the feature documentary, Chasing Asylum, which she directed and produced. The film tackles Australia’s treatment of refugees and asylum seekers over the past 15 years, focusing on offshore detention. Eva has also written a book Chasing Asylum about the making of the film,published by Harper Collins. The film was shot in Australia, Indonesia, Cambodia, Lebanon, Iran and Afghanistan and the film and book will be released in Australia in April 2016.

Also to be released in 2016 is Out Of Iraq, co-directed and produced by Eva with LA based production company World of Wonder. The film follows a gay Iraqi couple over a decade as they try to stay alive and together and seek asylum in the US.

Prior to Chasing Asylum Eva directed and produced the feature documentary The Network, set behind the scenes at the largest and most successful television network in one of the most unstable and dangerous places on earth, Afghanistan. Eva wrote, directed and produced The Network. It was released theatrically in the US in October 2013 by FilmBuff, is available on Netflix US and UK, premiered on US television on Pivot and in Australia on SBS in 2014. It has screened and won awards at festivals around the world including SXSW and Sheffield and has sold extensively for television.

Eva’s US producing credits include the feature documentaries Taxi To The Dark Side, Gonzo: The Life And Work Of Dr Hunter S Thompson, The Human Behavior Experiments and Herbie Hancock’s Possibilities. Her work has screened at festivals including Cannes, Sundance, Tribeca and Sydney, has been released theatrically and sold to VOD and television across the globe.

In Australia Eva has won an AFI, Logie and Human Rights Award for her work. Not a lot fazes Eva. She is simply obsessed with great stories and finding them an audience.


Director/ Producer: Eva Orner

Executive Producers: Robert Connolly, Steven and Lani Castan, Ned Montarello, Roger Savage, Laini Liberman and Ben Rozernes 

Co-producer/ Editor: Annabelle Johnson

Composer: Cornel Wilczek


AACTA Awards nominations - Best feature length documentary, Best direction in a documentary, best sound in a documentary


Hot Docs 2016 

BFI London Film Festival 2016

Warsaw Film Festival 2016

New Zealand International Film Festival 2016

Reykjavik International Film Festival 2016