WHAT WE CARRY WITH US: LGBTQ+ REFUGEE STORYLAB

Photo credit: Zander Liberty, co-curator, What We Carry with Us (photo Citizen Film)

WHAT WE CARRY WITH US: LGBTQ+ REFUGEE STORYLAB

DIR Sam Ball, WORLD PREMIERE, 2021 USA, Five 1-minute shorts and one five-minute short, English, Documentary

On the run in East Africa, Mx. X. wards off evil with a magic broom. In a refugee camp, a growing LGBTQ+ community weaves rainbow bracelets to wear in a daring act of solidarity and resistance. Armed with a new US passport, Hector returns to Mexico for the first time since his narrow escape from a homophobic assassination attempt.

Frameline presents the world premiere of the latest suite of micro-documentaries created in refugee storylabs produced by Citizen Film.

Lead artist: Sam Ball
Contributing storytellers: Solomon Alpha Ahumuza, Adrian Edmundson, Basel Hamrah, Ivan Islas, Abby Kariuki, Mirale Mokhtar, Brian Muzik, Nouran Mostafa, Adolphe Niwemfura, Night Okindo, Hector Romero, Simon Ruta, Tamara Touma
Cinematographer: Sophie Constantinou
Associate Producer and Additional Photography: Aurora Jiminez
Editors: Chris Artherholt and Mike Shen
Assistant Editor: Kira Findling

Co-presented by: Community Support Initiative for Refugees, Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers, Jayu, Jewish Community Center of San Francisco, Jewish Family and Community Services East Bay, Oasis Legal Services, Rainbow Refugee, Trans Empowerment Initiative, and UC Berkeley’s Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life.

Produced with support from the Creative Work Fund and the San Francisco Arts Commission

Films:

Golden Magic Shoes 
dir. Sam Ball and Zander Berkeley Liberty, 2021, USA, 5 min., English

Zander has a powerful rainbow bracelet and golden magic shoes. He chronicles his narrow escape from Kampala and the freedom he ultimately finds in San Francisco.

Brian's Voice
dir. Sam Ball and Nkoyooyo Kezaala Brian, 2021, CANADA/USA, 1 min., English and Spanish

In Uganda, being queer is a capital crime. Brian, 26-years-old, wrote Uganda’s “Kuchu national anthem," sung by LGBTQ+ refugees all over the world.

Broom
dir. Sam Ball and anonymous, 2021, USA, 1 min., English

Exiled in East Africa, Mx. X wields a magic broom. 

Chainlinks
dir. Sam Ball and Tamara Touma, 2021, CANADA/SYRIA/USA, 1 min., English and Spanish

Tamara escaped war and persecution. The chain she wears around her neck is a memento from her mother who’s still in Syria.

Hector's Passport
dir. Sam Ball and Hector Romero, 2021, MEXICO/USA, 1 min., English and Spanish

Hector fled Mexico City as a teenager after he was nearly murdered for being gay. Armed with a new US passport, Hector visits his family for the first time in 20 years.

Teddy
dir. Sam Ball and Tamara Touma, 2021, CANADA/SYRIA/USA, 1 min., English and Spanish

Basel is the founder of a resettlement program for LGBTQ+ refugees. He fled Syria himself a few years ago, and his “pink, gay Teddy bear” gives him solace when he’s feeling homesick.