Washington, DC – The Define American Film Festival (DAFF) has confirmed that it will screen the Sundance award-winning film This Is Home, featuring the lives of four Syrian families resettled in Baltimore.
The film, which won the Audience Award for “World Cinema – Documentary” at the Sundance Film Festival this year, was directed by filmmaker Alexandra Shiva. This Is Home will screen at 1PM on Sunday, April 22nd at Venue SIX10. The film will be followed by a panel on global migration featuring Erika Andiola, AJ Mendez, Ala’a Basatneh and Miko Revereza.
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The film’s subject is especially timely, given the United States’ recent actions toward Syria this weekend. In response to reports of a suspected chemical weapons strike by the Syrian regime, President Donald Trump said “We are very concerned, when a thing like that can happen, this is about humanity.” We agree with the President: this is about humanity — and empathy. However, his actions toward Syrian refugees has modeled the very essence of inhumanity.
In 2016, the U.S. resettled 15,479 Syrian refugees. In 2017, the country let in 3,024. So far this year, that number is just 11. By comparison, over the same 3 1/2-month period in 2016, the U.S. accepted 790. America has always been defined by its willingness to help those in need, but currently, our country is failing to demonstrate the humanity touted by President Trump.
Define American is hosting a film festival to foster conversations about exactly these types of moments. Stories like those of the refugee families who come to America from war-torn countries are the backbone of the history of the United States. People escape tyranny and violence to start again in America: it is a quintessential piece of our national identity.
It is our hope that this film screening will foster greater understanding, empathy and conversation around the Syrian refugees that our country is currently turning its back on.
About Define American
Define American is the nation’s leading non-profit media organization that fights injustice and anti-immigrant hate through the power of storytelling. Through event curation, media consulting and creation, and grassroots organizing, Define American jumpstarts widespread &culture change around citizenship, race and identity in a changing America. It was founded in 2011 by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and Emmy-nominated filmmaker Jose Antonio Vargas. For more information, visit defineamerican.com.
About the Define American Film Festival
After seeing the impact of its award-winning pro Documented (CNN) and White People (MTV), Define American launched DAFF in 2016 amid growing anti-immigrant sentiment and debate over American values during the Iowa caucuses. Since then, DAFF has visited a new city every year, including Des Moines and Charlotte just last year. DAFF uniquely brings together journalists and experts in film and activism. DAFF is proud to have sold out 100% of its screenings, and accumulated more than a half-million views of streamed panel discussions, and over 9 million collective impressions across Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter. www.defineamerican.com/filmfest