I, Immigrant Festival Screening Room

For our first edition of the I, Immigrant International Online Film Festival, organized by Cinema Without Borders Foundation,” we received 449 submissions. The CWBF Selection Committee chose 33 films and from those films, two programmers, assigned by CWBF, nominated 17 films to receive the “I, Immigrant’s Best Film Awards.” The jury awards of $1,000, $600, and $400 will be given to the top three I, Immigrant International Online Film Festival, respectively.
Films in the screening room will be available to watch until March 31st, 2023.

To watch the films, please select their Titles or the Pictures 

I, Immigrant Nominees:
Mango House
USA – Directed by Ross Taylor
Mango House is a film about the largest shared space for refugees in the greater West and the risk-taker behind it all. The film lends insight into the refugee experience through a heightened level of intimacy and access and exposes levels of racism and injustice in areas ranging from access to medical care to how we police underserved areas.

The Outlanders – from HKG to SEA
USA – Directed by Azure Kwok
After the 2019 Anti-Extradition Law Amendment Bill Movement in Hong Kong, a young Hongkonger chose to leave her hometown and made her way to Seattle. She talks about how this decision marked a pivotal turning point in her life.

Conversations with Myself
Turkey – Directed by Sabina Kariat
Karagöz puppetry is a traditional Turkish type of shadow puppetry that dates back to the Ottoman empire in regions which are now modern-day Turkey and Syria. In this project, we contemporized the craft of karagöz by representing new identities from the present in Turkey, specifically the identities of Syrian refugees. I co-created this film with a cohort of Syrian-Turkish youth who wrote their own monologues and animated them in the style of karagöz puppetry, visualizing different sides of their complex identities.

These Aren’t People
USA – Directed by Ben Rosales
The story follows a little girl’s journey after being tear-gassed, torn from her mother’s arms, and caged like an animal by ICE agents simply for seeking asylum at the US/Mexico border. A bigfoot comes to her aid and transforms symbols of hatred and fear into symbols of compassion and love.

La Colectiva: Immigrant Diaries
USA – Directed by Leigh-Anna Nielsen
La Colectiva: Immigrant Diaries was a dream I had to share the stories of the unaccompanied Latinx immigrant children that I was writing about in Fall 2020. Inspired by my Global Studies thesis on the ethics of placing these migrant children in foster care, I realized that there were many untold stories of heartbreak, trauma, and loss. Bringing these stories to life and in an open forum where people were welcomed to share their immigration experiences with me verbally and physically became my passion. I interviewed immigrant children, first and second-generation children, and family members of migrants and asked them to move through their experiences with their bodies. Since these realities are rooted in the act of migrating, it only felt appropriate to make the connection with bodily movement. All of the stories told are true and resemble many truths that persist today with the United States’ violent border politics. To humanize the immigrants here in our country today and those yet to come, this video essay and performance art piece symbolizes sacrifice, love, strength, and hope. No human is illegal on stolen land. We must do better and advocate for better.

USA – Directed by: Sandeep Parupudi
This short showcases a story of an immigrant stuck in a country during COVID-19 pandemic. This is a voice for many other immigrants that shared the same experience and struggles during the pandemic. What can an immigrant do when the gut feeling about something  is about to happen indeed takes place, yet remains so helpless due to the nature of the pandemic?

Undocumented: A Dream of Education
USA – Directed by Elisa Herrmann
This short documentary is a touching tale about the struggles of an undocumented Colombian immigrant and the dream of getting an education in the United States. Diana Barrero-Burgos shares her personal journey seeking education to obtain her American dream. Through this documentary, we hope to inspire and encourage the undocumented community with a successful story of grit, perseverance, and passion for education. Sí se puede!

Bad Hombrewood 
USA – Directed by Guillermo Casarin
Guillermo Casarín, an aspiring young filmmaker, came to the United States from Mexico to pursue his dreams of becoming a film director. Now, he is on the verge of graduating from one of the best film schools in the world, but after experiencing racism in the country and film industry, he finds himself questioning his place in Hollywood. Through compelling interviews–such as with Academy Award-winning directors Phil Lord, Lee Unkrich, and Guillermo Del Toro, and Melissa Fumero from the Golden Globe-winning show Brooklyn Nine-Nine–and archival footage, Bad Hombrewood reveals the dark side of Hollywood’s history and the challenges Latinx filmmakers face while trying to succeed in the entertainment industry.

Does Healthcare Care? #WHYICARE
USA – Directed by Bryan Marcel Bilbao
This video is about the inspiration I have as a future provider (Physician Assistant) through years of watching my Nonna get neglected and abused by the healthcare field for being “foreign” and not being able to speak English or comprehend things as easily as native English speakers in America. I interviewed 10 different people of various backgrounds and/or identities to discuss with them how they feel about the healthcare system in terms of their own background. Their backgrounds involve various races, color, LGBTQ+ communities, sexual orientations, and those with disabilities. A heartfelt and insightful talk by different members in various communities pleading that the healthcare system needs to start caring more about its patients and not just the disorders and conditions we treat. We are all people and deserve to be treated as such by all fields, especially the healthcare field.

USA – Directed by Thomas Sideris
When most people were trapped in their homes around the world because of the Covid-19 pandemic, Afro-Haitian refugees continued to wander to space. They were crossing mountains, rivers and seas of Latin America, with the main goal of reaching the Mexican border with the USA, in order to finally cross into the “Promised Land”.

Haitian refugees are people chased by poverty and hunger, natural disasters and political instability. They are the “Marabou”, which like the marabou birds, migrate for a better fortune. Marabou is a term of Haitian origin denoting multiracial admixture. The term, which comes originally from the African Marabouts, describes the offspring of a Haitian person of mixed race: European, African, Taíno and South Asian.

USA – Directed by: Anthony Collings
Three immigrants tell their painful stories of life in Michigan under Trump.
Sam’s story was wrenching and emotional. Nicely-shot and written. Loved the opening music and natural sound on the Imam story. The coffin anecdote was dramatic. Felipe’s profile from its opening aerial drone shot to the freeze of the smiling graduate and his personal success story were uplifting”. James Michael Barnett

USA – Directed by: Robert Greenwald
Millions of people in our country are losing jobs, struggling to pay rent, and put food on the table due to the Covid-19 pandemic. These millions include DACA recipients, Temporary Protected Status holders, farm workers, and all immigrants. We need to ensure that everyone’s health and well-being are protected.

Mexico – Directed by Jared Jacobsen
An immigrant from Haiti, a historian, and the director of a shelter cross paths before and at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic in Tijuana, Mexico. Through their knowledge and experiences, they tell stories of determination and resilience from three unique perspectives

USA – Directed by Max Stein
When Sky’s family escaped war in Syria, they did not know what the future held. Now in Jordan, Sky has dreams of moving abroad and opening a studio that teaches other refugees what saved his life: Dance. This is not easy, however, as Sky must face many social and economic obstacles as a refugee.

A Poet’s Seat
USA – Directed by Martin Del Carpio
“What is an alien?” a man asks amid smoke, shadow and light. The question is daunting, metaphysical if you will. We may all feel like outsiders sometime, but what happens when the feeling is constant? With that in mind, we embark upon a journey that millions of people around the globe will recognize as their own: moving to another country.
In raw emotion, we experience the story of a man who moves to America as a child. We accompany him as he reminisces: the first sight of snow, the first day of school, the palpable eeriness of what is new. We witness his difficulties to find work and overcome other obstacles. We feel the anguish and the fear, and we can see the trap. Metaphorically and literally.

Brazil – Directed by Fernanda Parrado
Directed by Fernanda Parrado, Metamorphosis is a
personal experimental film about the filmmaker’s own
experiences as an immigrant in New York City. A tribute
to all immigrants and their necessity of constant
movement as a form of rebirth.

Common Roots
USA – Directed by Anna Lamond, Masha Vernik
Common Roots tells the story of a community under attack that comes together by growing food. Like many urban neighborhoods, East Boston faces rapid gentrification. Its immigrant residents are being displaced. People face food insecurity. Climate change is bringing extreme floods.

Common Roots shows how a community garden joyfully builds resilience to these threats. Using food as our common thread, Eastie Farm builds bridges. Neighbors of different backgrounds come together to grow food that anyone can harvest. By existing on land that would otherwise be developed, the garden is instead a welcoming space for neighbors to come, listen to music together, and get to know one another. The Coronavirus pandemic makes this message more important than ever: growing food in our communities makes us stronger together.

Cinema Without Borders Foundation, Immigrant International Online Film Festival Organizer:
Cinema Without Borders Foundation is dedicated to promotion and introduction of the international, independent and Social Justice cinema and to introduce new faces and talents outside any borders and its goal is to create international communities of filmmakers and film students and organize CWB platforms online, at film festivals and events, and within the industry and through CWB F’s own festivals and competitions.

Cinema Without Borders Foundation events and activities helps the international and independent filmmakers to introduce their work and finds financial and distribution venues. One of the goals of CWBF is to help the international filmmakers find and create new ways for producing and distributing their films.

I, Immigrant Advisory Board
Keely Badgers, Executive Director of MOZAIK Philanthropy, Bambadjan Bamba,an actor, filmmaker, and immigrant rights advocate, Rodrigo Garcia, a Mexican film director that has directed a variety of independent films, Marcy Garriott, an independent documentary filmmaker based in Austin, Texas, Barbara Hines, the founder of the University of Texas Law School Immigration Clinic , Susan Morgan Cooper,  a director, producer and writer, Daniela Kon, an award-winning documentary filmmaker, producer and consultant working at the intersection of human rights, global development and impact media, Neda Nobari , an Iranian-American businesswoman and philanthropist Pamela Yates,  the co-founder and creative director of Skylight, a non-profit dedicated to creating feature-length documentaries.

Thanks to our donors that made this event possible (in alphabetical order) : Mahasti Afshar, Chakameh Azimpour, Keely Badger, Bahman Bennett, Feridon Biglari, Pardiss Broomand, Vazrik Der-Sahakian, Milad Dylan, Rodrigo Garcia, Marcy Garriott, Firoozeh Isfahani, Mehrzad Khajenoori, Michael Libonati, Bahman Maghsoudlou,Siamak Mashal, Nazie Meghan, Ramin Niami, Hila Molkara, Nasrin Motahedeh, Mark Pellington,  Nargess Phillips, Shari Rezai, Shahla Shamloo O’Neil, Hosein Shokouh-Amiri, Ramak Tabar, Abolghassem Tehrani, James Ulmer, Ata Walizadeh, Fariborz Yousefi, and two anonymous friends of CWB Foundation


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