Stories Beyond Borders

Event date: 
Wednesday, October 2, 2019 - 6:00pm - 8:00pm

Stories Beyond Borders, includes five short films that provide insight into the threats and challenges immigrant families and communities are currently facing in the United States. Immigration enforcement practices and policies extend beyond the crisis at the border. These films tell real stories of resilience and strength, and illustrate opportunities for concerned individuals and communities to contribute time, energy, and resources towards the support of immigrant communities.


  • Santuario
    By Christine Delp & Pilar Timpane

    Juana Luz Tobar Ortega came to the United States 24 years ago as an asylum seeker from Guatemala. For the last six years living in North Carolina, Juana has checked in with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) annually and received a stay of deportation. In April of 2017, she was told without warning that she had 30 days to leave the country or be deported but Juana refused to leave her 4 children and two 9-year-old granddaughters to return to Guatemala. Instead, she entered sanctuary at an unfamiliar church. St. Barnabas Episcopal in Greensboro, NC welcomed Juana, a complete stranger, into their church home.

  • Not a Citizen
    By Daniel Quintanilla. Animation by Hanji Chang

    Abdi Ali, a 28 year-old permanent resident from Maine, was detained by ICE in a Portland courthouse while meeting with his attorney about an OUI charge. The U.S. Government intends to deport Abdi back to Somalia, the same country his family fled as refugees when he was only a child.

  • The Legacy of the Zero Tolerance Policy
    By Almudena Toral, Lorena Arroyo & Cindy Karp

    Adayanci Pérez is one of more than 2,500 children that were separated from their families at the border by the U.S. government as part of the Zero Tolerance policy. This six-year-old Guatemalan girl was away from her family for three and a half months. Before reuniting with her family, she was diagnosed with PTSD.

  • The Dream Riders
    By Konrad Aderer

    #Journey2Justice is an initiative of activists on bikes who are making a journey from border to border to raise awareness of immigrant issues. Their six-week trek is a campaign relentlessly focused on #Citizenship4All, a path to citizenship for all 11 million out-of-status immigrants. This campaign is led by NAKASEC, National Korean American Service & Education Consortium, and their affiliates.

  • UndocuJoy!
    By Monica Medellin, Shauna Siggelkow, Yosimar Reyes, & Define American

    UndocuJoy captures authentic moments of joy of people who are undocumented.

About Working Films

This project was created and curated by Working Films who, for two decades, have positioned documentaries to advance social justice and environmental protection. They work with grassroots groups and non-governmental organizations to enhance their programs, extend their reach, and move their missions forward. They train and consult filmmakers to strengthen their community engagement by using documentaries to reach critical audiences and move the dial toward meaningful progress on the biggest issues of our time. Learn more

This film screening is a joint project of Working Films, the Department of Social Work at Appalachian State University, the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures at Appalachian State University the North Carolina Justice Center, the Immigrant Justice Coalition of Watauga County, the High Country United Church of Christ and the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts.

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