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THIS IS HOME puts a human face on the global refugee crisis by providing an intimate portrait of four Syrian refugee families arriving in the US and struggling to find their footing.




"Affecting...Addresses early relief, initial confusion, fluctuating states of peace and homesick despair, and the small joys that come with knowing one can adapt."
Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times

"Powerful...Allows an exceptional intimacy to develop between the audience and the subjects...The children make friends. Teenagers get into college. No one is a villain here. People are kind. But Shiva, in this quiet, thoughtful film, has given us a gift in laying bare the extremity of their transition. The more she illuminates the nuances, the better we see."
Eve MacSweeney, Vogue

"America and Americans are many things, but I was reminded of how simultaneously bewildering, charming, generous and scary this place can be."
Susanna Schrobsdorff, Time

"Stirring...A heartening call for open-armed empathy in an America still guarded on that front."
Guy Lodge, Variety

"Give[s] a face to the faceless by putting viewers — no matter their political opinions — in the center of the most personal of moments these families endure."
Meghan Giannotta, amNewYork

"An intimate portrait of the global immigration crisis on a person-to-person level."
Chris Osterndorf, The Daily Dot

"I have watched several documentaries on Syrian refugees — this is the best. A delightful, humorous and honest film. We cheer on four families as they race against time to settle, learn English and find jobs before eight months of state assistance run out. Tears came to my eyes only a few times; this is not a tear jerker. I laughed more often. Some I wanted to hug, others I wanted to shake by the collar to explain that they must fall in line with American customs or sink. This film reminds you that whether refugee or ordinary American, we are all in this together."
Joshua Landis, Professor and Chair, Middle East Studies, Director, Center of Middle East Studies, University of Oklahoma, Editor, Syria Comment newsletter

"Succeeds in showcasing the gradual social and cultural changes, including the emotional transformations, the refugees have undergone in adapting to their new homeland. It also brilliantly and subliminally shatters the publicized stereotype that Syrian refugees are a threat to American security and culture. The image of the 'other' is delicately yet seamlessly transposed into one accepted, supported and fitted into the fabric of American society."
Dr. Robert Rabil, Professor of Political Science, Florida Atlantic University , Author, Syria, the United States, and the War on Terror in the Middle East

"Freedom and the hope for a peaceful and prosperous family life is an intoxicating goal. This Is Home captures the struggle for all this. As America turns inward the freedom this country offers fades. This important film brings home how policy affects human beings. A must see film."
David M. Crane, Professor of Practice, Syracuse University, Founder, Syrian Accountability Project, The IamSyria Campaign

"A compelling glimpse into the lives of several Syrian refugee families resettled in Baltimore, MD and the challenges of building a new life in exile while still dealing with the trauma of war. It poignantly depicts how these refugees — with grace, dignity, and humor — overcome culture shock, language barriers, homesickness, and bigotry to forge a new life in America. This film is necessary viewing for understanding how the ordeal of being a refugee continues after being granted asylum."
Dr. Faedah Totah, Associate Professor of Political Science, Virginia Commonwealth University

"If you really care to know about the lives of refugees who are coming to the US now and how they adjust to their new home, you must see this documentary. This is a poignant record of the gap between good intentions of the hosts and everyday realities of the refugee families. Reaching 'home' involves a long, hard journey."
Dr. Bandana Purkayastha, Professor, Sociology, Asian American Studies, University of Connecticut

"Brilliant...Heartbreaking...In this political moment of anti-immigrant hysteria, This is Home is a needed reminder of the many insecurities refugees confront and of the moral and political necessity of supporting them."
Dr. Samer Abboud, Associate Professor, Global Interdisciplinary Studies, Villanova University, Author, Syria

"Warm, personable...Hopeful, positive...Offers constructive counterpoint that dilutes the strident nativist voices of those who would demonize refugees as vulnerable candidates to become radicalized or engaged as terrorists."
Les Roka, The Utah Review

"An engaging, respectful, and realistic account of refugee resettlement in America. A must-see...for communities interested in learning more about the realities and challenges of resettlement for newly arrived refugees. The documentary's unobtrusive focus on the role of refugee resettlement agency staff (such as case managers, employment specialists, and interpreters), the support from faith communities (such as local churches), as well as the social, cultural and psychological challenges facing refugee men, women and children (gender roles, parent child dynamics, trauma, and homesickness) allows the story to tell so much, but without judgement or generalizations...This remains, throughout, the story of how four specific families engage in the universal struggle for dignity and hope in a new home."
Dr. Diya Abdo, Associate Professor of English, Founder/Director, Every Campus A Refuge, Guilford College

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A Refugee Story
Audience Award: World Cinema Documentary
Sundance Film Festival