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Georgia Southern University hosts 2018 Refugee Film Festival on June 19

Georgia Southern University, Mountainfilm on Tour-Savannah and Lutheran Services of Georgia have teamed up to host the Refugee Film Festival on Tuesday, June 19, at 6:30 p.m. in the Ogeechee Theatre on the Armstrong Campus in Savannah. A reception will follow the films. The event is free and open to the public.

“The timing of this event could not be better,” said Georgia Southern Director of Military and Local Government Affairs Peter Hoffman. “It coincides with World Refugee Day, designated by the United Nations as an expression of solidarity with people who have been uprooted from their homes by war or persecution. And this year, the theme for Mountainfilm on Tour is “Migration,” with a number of films that directly address the issue of refugees. Georgia Southern embraces the values of civility, kindness, respect and social responsibility, and is proud to join with Lutheran Services of Georgia in highlighting the great work they do while furthering our mission of providing transformative learning opportunities for our students.”

The festival will feature the four acclaimed films below in consecutive order:

  • “50 Feet from Syria”
    The acclaimed documentary follows Syrian-American surgeon Hisham Bismar as he travels to the Turkish-Syrian border to volunteer operating on victims from the Syrian civil war.
  • “How We Choose”
    This film follows several people struggling with the heart-wrenching decision to leave their motherland to start over again in a new country. The ones who stay do so because of their desire to bring about positive change and to help create a hopeful future where suicide attacks are not part of daily life. Staying and going – each present much to be lost, and gained.
  • “Zain’s Summer: From Refugee to American Boy”
    This 2016 documentary covers the sunny side of refugee life. Zain, his siblings and mother fled Pakistan 11 months before the period the film covers, and attended a six-week summer language program that prepares young, new immigrants for the start of school. The possibility of a new life in America, relatively free from fear of violence and persecution, represents the very best of America in award-winning director Joshua Seftel’s telling.
  • “The Sculptor of Damascus”
    In the fall of 2015, filmmaker Gabriel Lifton-Zoline was in Eastern Europe reporting on the refugee crisis. While there, he befriended a young Syrian refugee named Mehyar Sawas. Over the next five months, the pair exchanged more than 164 pages of messages online. The result is “The Sculptor of Damascus,” a poignant film that puts a powerful face on the refugee situation. In Mehyar, we discover a peaceful young man who is tortured over the abandonment of his family, who has dreams to be an artist and who seeks, more than anything, to survive.

Georgia Southern University, a public Carnegie Doctoral/Research institution founded in 1906, offers 141 degree programs serving more than 27,000 students through nine colleges on three campuses in Statesboro, Savannah, Hinesville and online instruction. A leader in higher education in southeast Georgia, the University provides a diverse student population with expert faculty, world-class scholarship and hands-on learning opportunities. Georgia Southern creates lifelong learners who serve as responsible scholars, leaders and stewards in their communities. Visit


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