Unsettled: Seeking Refuge in America

Director: Tom Shepard
2019 | USA, Lebanon, Canada | 81m
Expected Guests: Director Tom Shepard, Subjects Cheyenne Adriano, Junior Mayema, Subhi Nahas, and Mari N’timansieme, Producer Jen Gilomen


In this powerful documentary, acclaimed director Tom Shepard (Scout’s Honor, Frameline25) follows four LGBTQ+ refugees and asylum seekers from Africa and the Middle East who have fled homophobic violence sanctioned in their home countries and championed by their families of origin. Beginning anew in San Francisco, Cheyenne and Mari (Angolan), Subhi (Syrian), and Junior (Congolese) face immense barriers to securing work, housing, and legal assistance. Fighting isolation and depression, they share stories that form an unflinching picture of nearly insurmountable challenges.

Despite the odds stacked against them, there are triumphs alongside setbacks. From finding a bed in a gender-appropriate shelter to recording musical collaborations to providing testimony to the United Nations, personal victories illuminate a determination not only to save themselves but to achieve dreams deferred. Filmed against a backdrop of familiar Bay Area locations, Unsettled is a timely look at the challenges and perseverance of four refugees on a quest for a better tomorrow.


Followed by a free panel discussion, Troubled Sanctuary: LGBTQ+ Refugees, Asylum Seekers, and Immigrants in the US, Sunday, June 23 · approx. 2:30 pm · Castro Theatre

Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer

SFFILM / African Human Rights Coalition