On November 19th, the Social Innovation Forum (SIF) hosted a private advanced screening of “America’s Family,” a narrative feature film starring, written and directed by filmmaker Anike Tourse. The film, which has been nearly twenty years in the making, chronicles the stories of five mixed-ethnic, mixed-status family members who are on a journey to reunite after being separated through ICE intervention. Their journey comes with the discovery that the strength and commitment of the family is much stronger than they think. The film highlights the struggle that so many immigrants and their families face trying to find their place in a polarized and, at times, explicitly unwelcoming atmosphere.
Anike shares with us that “It was great to share our second advanced screening of America's Family in my hometown of Boston Massachusetts as a featured event for the Social Innovation Forum (SIF). The panel SIF selected to speak following the film was remarkable as was sharing the movie with an audience of community leaders working in immigration law and advocacy and for a private audience inspired to share how the film spoke to and/or reflected their experience. As America's Family goes into distribution and becomes available for the general public in 2022, I look forward to returning to the city for additional screenings and to continue the ongoing conversation.”
The screening, held at the Dorothy and Charles Mosesian Center for the Arts in Watertown, was followed by an engaging talkback with Anike, who gave insight into the making of the film, why she chose this subject, and what she has learned throughout the process. Anike was joined for the talkback by Dr. Geralde Gabeau, Founder and Executive Director of the Immigrant Family Services Institute (IFSI) and 2021 Social Innovator, and Irene Friedel, staff attorney at the Political Asylum/Immigrant Representation (PAIR) Project, a 2017 Social Innovator, who spoke to what advocacy work for immigrant rights looks like on the ground. With an in-person, masked crowd of 90 people, there was an engaging conversation encouraged by thoughtful questions from the audience.
If you’re interested in learning more about SIF’s work in this social issue area and/or want to connect with any of our Social Innovators working to support Immigrants, Refugees and Asylum Seekers, please contact Carolyn Shaughnessy.