We hope this message finds you healthy, and doing all you can to reduce the spread of the Coronavirus. First off –thank you to all on the frontlines of this pandemic–whether working in healthcare, food distribution, advocacy, government or mutual aid. For any of you who may be sick: we are wishing a strong recovery. For all who have lost work or are struggling with the impact of this virus on your life or loved ones, we are with you.
Some have reached out to me personally asking what happened with From Here’s premiere in London. It is with deep disappointment that I share that the Human Rights Watch Film Festival, including our premiere, was cancelled. I made it back safely from London, albeit with a great deal of concern, sadness and stress.
So what comes next for From Here? We are working on a new vision for distribution in this unknown terrain. One thing is sure: however we release the film this year we are going to need your help more than ever. Spring film festivals have been either cancelled or are being moved online–and they play a critical role in getting films out into the world. We do not know how long this pandemic will last, how it will reshape the landscape of public gatherings, or how our politics will transform. We know we will get the film out there!
Were it not for the impending U.S. election, we might just hunker down and wait this thing out. However, we feel a responsibility to play a role in shaping the narrative about belonging and immigration, in this context of growing xenophobia and injustice. We are deeply concerned about the immigrants and refugees being held in detention centers and camps who are unable to protect themselves, the increase in racialized violence against Asian-Americans and Asian-Europeans, the undocumented workers unable to recieve releif, and an executive branch in the U.S. attempting to cover up their own irresponsibility with unrepentant xenophobia.
We continue to need narratives that increase our collective sense of belonging. We will be increasing our social media presence and figure out an alternative distribution strategy, which will inevitably involve more work online. If you’d like to get involved, some ideas include: digital strategy, translation, web development, social media, curriculum development, SEO, and more. Please reach out: firstname.lastname@example.org
We are heartened by the incredible acts of solidarity that are taking place globally - from neighbors taking care of each other, to individuals making masks for health care works, to restaurants opening up their kitchens to the community. As Naomi Klein is saying, this crisis offers the possibility for transformation which previously seemed unthinkable. I hope to embrace this wisdom and those who are rising to offer possibilities of how we might organize in this new climate.
We will be in regular touch. In the meantime we wish you health and equanimity.