How Far Is Home?
We created a short documentary about an Ohio-based K-12 school for newcomers during the height of the US immigration ban.
TYPE: SHORT DOCUMENTARY
GOAL: SOCIAL AWARENESS
DURATION: 1 Year
About

A 21-minute documentary about an extraordinary K-12 school in the suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio. We found this school after connecting with local organizations in the area that provide social and educational opportunities for young immigrants and refugees. The film tells the story of Ahmed and Ruba, two young Iraqi children that attend a school built to help migrant children adapt to living in America. The goal of the film was to show the importance of such safe places for children who come from around the world and how anti-immigration policies threaten the success of such institutions.

The film premiered at the 2020 Cleveland International Film Festival, a 40+ year festival with heavy focus on cultural and social impacts and an inclusive human experience. Since, then the film has also been screened at UNESCO's APCEIU chapter for their Global Citizenship Education to build more just, peaceful, inclusive, and sustainable societies. The film also received a special mention in the 2021 Social Impact Media Awards and won the award for a Global Shorts Forum Honorable Mention at the 2020 SCAD Savannah Film Festival.

01
PRODUCTION

Pre-production and production was executed over a 3-week period in which our director and crew spent time at the school with the staff and children. Filming was mostly done on premises at the Thomas Jefferson Newcomers Academy at Cleveland, Ohio and followed the stories of Ahmed and Ruba with interviews from staff members.

02
pOST-PRODUCTION

Post-production for this project was completed at our remote office in Los Angeles. It was important to release this film in a timely manner to challenge the strict anti-immigration policies that were in effect under the Trump Administration.

Post-production was wrapped up in under 3 months and the project was submitted for its premiere at the Cleveland International Film Festival.


03
MARKETING & DISTRIBUTION

Our marketing strategy for the film has included a social media campaign, PR outreach, and collaboration with community activists working on social justice campaigns.

The film gained positive press for its focus on an important and timely social issue during one of the most turbulent times in recent American political history.

04
SOCIAL IMPACT

The film has screened at numerous festivals where it gained its initial recognition as an important piece documenting the lives of migrant children in America and the necessity of institutions like the Thomas Jefferson International Newcomers Academy.

The film was selected for screenings with social impact organizations and groups including UNESCO's Asia-Pacific Centre of Education for International Understanding and San Francisco's SLIDE, a nationally recognized center for social justice.

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