In competition for the Bridging the Borders Award and the Local Jury Award.
Utica, New York has been called “the city that loves refugees.” A city decimated in the 1970s by industrial shutdowns, it lost 45% of its population. But it opened its arms to refugees from all over the world, who now make up almost a quarter of the population, and whose ambitions and skills have given Utica a new lease on life. This inspiring documentary begins in 2017 with the arrival of a Sudanese family fleeing persecution, who we will follow for three years, along with refugees from Bosnia, Palestine and elsewhere, as they struggle to reinvent their lives in upstate New York. Though the thriving Refugee Center enjoyed the local support of both Republican and Democratic politicians, its survival was suddenly threatened by the Trump administration's draconian anti-immigration policies. Would Utica’s enlightened experiment survive the shutdown? Director Loch Phillipps’s intimate and moving documentary allows us to look at this charged issue with fresh, humane eyes.
|Producers:||Adam Bedient, David Chanatry, Loch Phillipps|
|Editor:||Adam Bedient, Loch Phillipps, Zach Kalet-Schwartz, Alaa Seoudy|
|Cast:||Nasradin Azein, Shelly Callahan, Hassan Abbas|
|Running Time:||120 minutes|
|Premiere Status:||World Premiere|
|Director Filmography:||Use Your Head (1996)|
|Primary Company:||Off Ramp Films|