What if we were the refugees? What if we had to escape England? How could we get away? Would any country accept us? Suitable for adults and children aged 8 upwards.
Directed by Claire Desenclos
SCREENING INFOThis film was available for Refugee Week 2020.
In 1981, a lonely refugee from Czechoslovakia paints an all-too-appealing picture ofher American life as she writes a letter begging an organisation to send a Cambodian refugeefamily so that she can help resettle them in her new 'hometown of dreams': Fargo, North Dakota.
Written and directed by A.M. LukasProduced by Lizzie Nastro and Alex Cirillo
This 14 minute film is based on the very true story of my mother Helena, who escaped persecution in communist Czechoslovakia to be resettled not in her bustling 'dream city' of Manhattan, but in the bleak, population- challenged landscape of Fargo, North Dakota. The film is about her need, as a refugee who made it out of her bad situation, to help others in a similar position. Set in 1981 and steeped in the humour and visual quality of childhood memory, the film's subject matter is in fact incredibly timely, even urgent, considering the Trump administration's divisive stance on refugees and immigration. Emily Mortimer plays my mother, and her performance imbues the film with a warmth, charm, and buoyancy I sincerely hope you enjoy. A.M. Lukas
Grand Jury Prize for Best Short Film, Edmonton International Film Festival qualifying the film for a 2019 Oscar nomination
Best Screenplay, Rhode Island International Film Festival
Special Jury Prize Best Screenwriting, SCAD Savannah Film Festival
FESTIVALS & ENGAGEMENTS
2019: Sundance Film Festival Official Selection, Opening night
2018: Mill Valley International Film Festival Official SelectionPalm Springs International Shorts Fest Official Selection
London Film Week Official Selection
Port Eliot Literary Festival, Cinematheque, Port Eliot, UK
Hollyshorts Film Festival Official Selection
Crested Butte Film Festival Official Selection
Hawaii International Film Festival Official Selection
Edmonton International Film Festival Official Selection, “Best Short Film”
Rhode Island International Film Festival Official Selection “Best Screenplay”
SCAD Savannah Film Festival Official Selection “Best Screenplay”
London Migration Film Festival Official Selection
St. Louis International Film Festival Official Selection
Pittsburgh Shorts Festival Official Selection
A grandfather with his granddaughter escape their ruined planet in search of a time/place on earth that will accept them: Babylon 570 BC, Rome 100 AD or London 2018 AD? Suitable for adults and children aged 8 upwards.
Directed by Claire Desenclos
After settling into her new life in America, a Syrian refugee receives a visit from her past. Based on a surreal short story by Syrian writer Jehan Sayed Issa, The Dead Die Once follows a refugee living in the U.S. whose evening is transformed by the power of memory. When her kitchen radio picks up familiar voices demanding freedom, she is drawn into a space where food unites the living and the dead.
Produced, Directed & Edited by Max McGillivray and Alex Morelli
Written by Jehan Sayed Issa
Produced by Hiba Hariri and Mahmoud Hariri
We met Jehan and her family during the tumultuous winter of 2017, just after the newlyelected U.S. president had signed an executive order halting refugees from Syria. Herhusband was then a Harvard Scholar at Risk, a trauma surgeon who had stayed behind in the bombed-out hospitals long after his family had fled for Turkey. As Jehan told it, she would keep a Skype call open nearly 24 hours a day just to confirm he was still alive.
Though her personal experiences and those broadcast by her husband, Jehan gatheredimages of war and mementos from the destruction of her homeland. From these, she began to spin stories that use magical realism to illuminate the courage and suffering of the Syrian people, along with the experience of being displaced.
We were inspired by one story in particular, a young woman's determination to share a mealwith friends and relatives she has lost to war. With the help of countless volunteers, we worked with Jehan to bring her story to the screen. Jehan's protagonist, played by ReemAtassi, transposes the original tale onto the author's refugee experience in the U.S. The result, we hope, is a little magic. Max McGillivray and Alex Morelli
SCREENINGS & AWARDS
Nepal Human Rights International Film Festival, Kathmandu, Nepal, 2020
Oneota Film Festival, Decorah, IA, 2020 (Best Student Narrative Short)
International Amity Short Film Festival, Istanbul, Turkey, 2019
JAYU Human Rights Film Festival, Toronto, Canada, 2019
London Migration Film Festival, London, UK, 2019
North Dakota Human Rights Film Festival, Fargo, ND, 2019 (Mia Eh’Desh Courage Award for Narrative Short Film)
Global Peace Film Festival, Orlando, FL, 2019\
CRITICA Festival, Shanghai, China, 2019
Lost Land International Film Festival, Manchester, UK, 2018
Boston Palestine Film Festival, Boston, MA, 2018
Arab Film Festival @ Arab American National Museum, Dearborn, MI, 2018 (World Premiere)
Chipaul and Millie Cao reunited in 1980s Los Angeles after being separated by the Vietnam War. Forty years later, they become ballroom dancers to reconnect again and make up for lost time.
While Paul and Millie Cao were dancing--they dance a lot--a film director researching mini-malls accidentally walked into the Lai Lai Ballroom & Studio in Alhambra. Director Laura Nix was so intrigued, she decided to start taking lessons! Eventually, she knew Paul and Millie had a story to tell and she was the one to tell it. George Pennacchio
Directed by Laura Nix
AWARDS & NOMINATIONS
Oscar Nomination 2020: Academy Award for Best Documentary Short Subject
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