By Tom Degun

luol_deng_2February 8 - Great Britain and Chicago Bulls superstar Luol Deng has teamed up with American film and commercial director Bryan Buckley to launch the first ever commercial campaign for The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in order to raise awareness for refugees in Sudan.

The unprecedented appeal for global funding sees cameras followed NBA star Deng, who was actually born in Sudan before his family fled to Britain in 1992 to escape the second Sudanese Civil War, on his epic journey to visit his battle-ravaged homeland.

Deng, who is set to lead the men's GB basketball team at the London 2012 Olympics, hadn't set foot back in his country since his escape as a seven-year-old child and Emmy award winning director Buckley, who had directed over 30 Super Bowl commercials, captures Deng speaking with unseen faces and uncovering never heard stories from behind the camp lines.

"If anybody looks at me and compares me to someone from England, someone from the United States or someone from the Sudan, the first thing you would say is that he is African, he is Sudanese," says the 25-year-old, 6ft 9in star.

"Deep, deep down in my heart, that is my home; that is where I'm from.

"Being at the camp in Sudan made me realised how much I have.

"I'm just so blessed but a lot of the time I'm not thankful for it.

"Growing up as a kid, I always wanted to be the best I could be and I always wanted to go home.

"This is a dream for me."

The short film prides itself on taking an unflinching look at the realities previously unbroadcast in this long format Public Service Announcement.

With Sudan's separation vote under way and a shaky political future on the horizon for the Southern Sudanese Separatist movement, the UNHCR is facing unparalleled levels of overcrowding and displacement in refugee camps across the world.

The struggle for global awareness and safe placement of refugees is more pressing and unresolved than ever before.

With Deng and Buckley on board, the UNHCR aims to reach audiences around the world with the forthcoming campaign.

Established on December 14, 1950 by the United Nations General Assembly, the UNHCR is the agency mandated to lead and co-ordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems worldwide.

Its primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees.

To view the short film click here.

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