2020 Home is Distant Shores Film Festival

September 18 – 20, 2020

About the Festival

The Home is Distant Shores film festival was launched in October 2019 and was organized by two non-profit organizations, International Focus and the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants -North Carolina, and an independent film production company-VerveFilms. The three-day event included fictional and documentary pieces from local filmmakers, panel discussions, and a celebratory reception.

In 2020, we plan to extend our programming to include arts, food, culture and dialog to enrich the festival experience for our filmmakers and attendees. We plan to engage with local immigrant-owned businesses and make them an integral part of the festival.

Awards & Prizes

Home is Distant Shores is a celebration of immigrant and refugee stories that embraces the power of films. This year we will recognize films and filmmakers for their talent and for getting those stories out to the larger audience. With that objective in mind, we will be giving out various awards and prizes for artistic merit, audience engagement, and social impact.  

Call for Films

Perhaps the most complex question immigrants and refugees to answer is “Where is home?” Is it where you are physically located? Is it where your heart is? It is where your memories are?
With that question in mind, we decided to build a film festival that celebrates the lives and experiences of immigrants, refugees, asylum seekers, expats who left their land of birth for myriad reasons and moved to the United States of America. We are interested in wide variety of topics such as migration journey, border security, education, employment, documented and undocumented immigration, community integration, family separation, DACA, resettlement of refugee and asylum seekers etc. We encourage narrative and documentary filmmakers and music video producers to share their work with the almost 800,000 immigrants who reside in North Carolina.

Please click the logo below to submit your work.

2019 Home is Distant Shores

October 2, 2019   7-9:30PM

My Story: Five short films of personal experience followed by a panel discussion with immigrants and refugees moderated by Jason DeBruyn.

October 9, 2019   7-9:30PM

New Shores: Five short films of change and assimilation followed by a a panel discussion with organizations serving refugees and immigrants moderated by Anita Rao.

October 16, 2019   7-9:30PM

Finale: Parallel Parking by Aby Rao followed by a reception with cast, filmmakers, and community.