Imagine you are a refugee from sudan.

after 6 years in an ethiopian camp, you arrive in cold upstate ny.

you just got lucky.

A documentary that follows the Azein family from their arrival in the US in 2017, just as an administration hostile to refugees is sworn in.

Over 2.5 years they will transition from isolation to being part of a larger, thriving community.

ABout THE FILM

watch

the trailer

donate

Please donate! We need money to finish the film, pay for legal fees, and to get the film out to best effect.

A resurgence

Following our story, we bear witness to Utica, a rebounding rustbelt city, and the resettlement agency determined to make America a new home for refugees.

THE

LATEST

Syracuse.com

A good look at Utica featuring some of the characters from the film.

In advance of a screening in the Syracuse area, Jules Struck took a deep dive for this article.

https://www.syracuse.com/living/2022/05/they-saved-this-town-refugees-poured-into-utica-and-cleared-the-rust-from-a-dying-industrial-city.html

The River - Radio

Monte Belmonte interviews Loch, promoting Brattleboro screenings

The documentary is running for a week in Brattleboro, which has recently begun resettling Afghans. We're excited to show them what they might expect!

https://wrsi.com/monte/

Vermont Public Radio

Interview with refugee expert, Pablo Bose

An interview with UVM Prof. Pablo Bose about resettlement in Brattleboro and our documentary.

https://www.vpr.org/vpr-news/2022-05-11/the-latchis-theater-in-brattleboro-will-screen-a-new-film-on-refugee-resettlement

Palm Springs Life

Utica: The Last Refuge, a "Top Pick to See”

After our film was a “top pick to see” of two of the festival programmers, the Palm Springs International Film Festival was canceled due to covid outbreak.

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UTLR Blog

Screenings at the Stanley Theater, a Local Landmark

Over two "cast and crew" screenings, over 1600 people attended in the huge and beautifully restored landmark that is the Stanley Theater, itself a symbol of resilience.

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THE issue

Joe Biden has promised to reestablish the refugee resettlement program in the U.S. Doing so will require a lot of political will because the system is nearly broken. Now is the time to push for his ambitious numbers.

Stories

You could argue in a city Utica's size, that individuals matter more. The smaller the town, the more likely it is that people know each other, and know each other's stories. In Utica, they do. Local politicians from both parties share an impression of what made Utica successful in its heyday, and how it will return to some semblance of that time. A long standing community of immigrants, Uticans of all strata have united around refugee resettlement. As such, there is a commonality in the stories we've gotten from refugees, from community leaders, and from the personnel at The Center. Everyone wants to rebuild Utica, to attract companies to the area, to create jobs, and prosperity. Utica's diversity, they say, is key to getting there.

Ebrima Bakarr

Thet Thet Mar

Shelly Callahan

Mayor Robert Palmieri

more to explore

refugee storiesstaff center storiesutican stories