Part of SFFILM Festival
Unsettled: Seeking Refuge in America
Director Tom Shepard is expected to attend both screenings.
Powerfully and heartbreakingly detailing the challenging process that LGBTQ refugees must go through to find safety and security while starting over in the US, Tom Shepard’s (Scout’s Honor, 2001) inspiring new documentary profiles four people who have come to San Francisco to save their own lives. Over the course of this unforgettable group portrait, Subhi (from Syria), Junior (from Congo), and Mari and Cheyenne (from Angola) experience roadblocks and triumphs as they reflect on their respective histories and try to create a home for themselves in an environment that is not always welcoming.
Once in San Francisco, they are met with setbacks but each maintains hope for a better future – Mari and Cheyenne record an album, Subhi starts a tour speaking on behalf of Syrian refugees and finds love, while Junior faces challenges of homelessness and gender non-conformance. Witnessing their different experiences in the city, Unsettled urgently and poignantly examines the systems in place to help them that can only go so far in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges. It is their hope paired with the empathetic people willing to help them that gives them opportunities to overcome even the toughest obstacles.
Tom Shepard has worked as a producer, editor, and cinematographer, as well as a director. He made his feature directing debut with Scout’s Honor (Festival 2001), winner of a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Documentary, the Best Documentary Audience Award at Frameline, and the Documentary Audience Award and Freedom of Expression Award at the Sundance Film Festival. He co-directed Knocking (2006), directed Whiz Kids (2009), and was collaborating director on As She Is (2016).
Director Tom Shepard
Producer Tom Shepard, Jen Gilomen
Editor Eva Brzeski
Cinematographer Andrew Black, Jen Gilomen, Mike Seely
Music Justin Melland
Print Source Open Door Productionsjen@opendoorproductions.org