Film screening and discussion in partnership with the Midtown Utica Community Center focuses on welcoming refugees to Utica Utica, N.Y. — On Wednesday, June 14, a special event will encourage and empower Utica residents to continue making our city a welcoming place for refugee neighbors during a time of fear and uncertainty across the country.
Utica has a long history of refugee resettlement, and this event will focus on how to support refugee families who are building new lives in Utica today. Please join us for a screening of the 60-minute documentary film 8 Borders, 8 Days at 7:00 pm on June 14, 2017 at Mohawk Valley Community College’s Schafer Theater.
The screening will be followed by an interactive discussion with film director Amanda Bailly and representatives from the Midtown Utica Community Center. The discussion panel will include members of various refugee and immigrants groups in the Utica area who have the shared experience of leaving home in search of safety and a better life. It promises to be a meaningful and fascinating evening. For the last year and a half, documentary filmmaker Amanda Bailly has been following a Syrian family – a single mother and her two children – who were not accepted for resettlement to the US and instead traveled with smugglers in a raft to Europe. She traveled with them on their journey and has been filming with them in Berlin since they arrived. The film, 8 Borders, 8 Days, is both a celebration of a strong mother and a close look at what happens when we close our doors to the people most in need. “The majority of people in the United States who want to close our doors to refugees have never actually heard the voices of the people affected. This film tells the story of three of them, and they’re three of the strongest, most resilient human beings I’ve ever met,” said Bailly. Bailly is originally from Guilderland, N.Y., and has been living in Beirut, Lebanon for the last two years. She has been working almost exclusively on the refugee crisis in the Middle East and Europe. “Many of the members that make up the Midtown Utica Community Center (MUCC) are refugees who have either fled from war-torn countries themselves, or have heard their parents’ stories since they were young,” said Chris Sunderlin, the President of MUCC. “We are really excited to bring this film to our community and share our reactions. The story in the film is shedding a light on the human side of conflict that is unfortunately all too common.” 8 Borders, 8 Days premiered to sold-out screenings at the Florida Film Festival and Seattle International Film Festival, where it was also awarded a $50,000 impact filmmaking grant as the single film contributing most to the conversation on immigration in the US. It has been called “raw, emotional,” and “unblinking” and has already inspired communities across Florida, New York State, and Washington State to welcome refugees.
EVENT INFO: Wednesday, June 14 at 7pm Mohawk Valley Community College, Schafer Theater 1101 Sherman Drive, Utica, NY 13501 7:00 Opening remarks 7:10 8 Borders, 8 Days screening (60 minutes, Arabic with English subtitles) 8:10 Interactive discussion with Amanda Bailly, Director of 8 Borders, 8 Days; Refugees and representatives from the Midtown Utica Community Center For more information, or to arrange interviews, please contact: Amanda Bailly, Director, 8 Borders, 8 Days: +518 526 0430; firstname.lastname@example.org Chris Sunderlin, President, Midtown Utica Community Center: +315 796 5440; email@example.com Please find the Facebook event page here. For more information about the film, see this CNN article. A high-resolution image is attached. Copyright should read “Courtesy of 8 Borders, 8 Days.”