2015, 15 minutes

Film website

ELLIS awakens our collective memory, taking you back to the early years of Ellis Island through the experience of one immigrant. Set in the abandoned Ellis Island Hospital complex and using JR’s UNFRAMED art installations, ELLIS tells the forgotten story of the immigrants who built America. It is the story of the ghosts of our countries past, the individuals who fled poverty, discrimination, and dictatorships, for a chance at a new life and eerily foreshadows the plight of those who currently seek the same opportunities and safety in this country and other parts of the world.

The short narrative film stars Academy Award Winner Robert De Niro, is written by Academy Award winner Eric Roth, and is directed by the artist JR.

To get a free copy of your chosen film Ellis , please contact Nelli Stavropoulou at . Please cite ‘Moving Worlds, special Refugee Week‘ package in your email. Don’t forget to check out the complementary post-screening resources to help navigate public conversations.

Post-screening Conversation Questions

  1. Do you think the ‘American Dream’ as described in the film, is it still the same dream today?
  2. Ellis Island stood as a symbol for immigration in the early 20th century. Can you think of any places that symbolise immigration today?
  3. Which room from JR’s installation in the hospital do you remember the most?
  4. “They made it. They were at last home.” How have public views on immigration changed today in relation to notions of ‘home’ and ‘belonging’?


Tribeca Film Resources

Festival Spotlight: JR’s “Ellis”, New York Times article

Robert De Niro Stars in JR Film Shot in Crumbling Ellis Island Art Installation, artnet news article