It has been a while since we updated our production blog. So much has happened! We just finished the first rough cut of our film and we are very happy with how it is coming together.
Over the past few months one of the aspects of our film that we felt was lacking was a fuller picture of the refugee situation in Greensboro. When we began our film we were surprised to find out the number of refugees that have been resettled in the Greensboro area (8,000-11,000) and when we’ve spoken with citizens of Greensboro, they’ve been just as surprised as us to find that out.
In order to paint a fuller picture of the refugee situation, we sat down with many leaders in refugee resettlement in Greensboro. Raleigh Bailey, Director of the Center for New North Carolinians was kind enough to sit down with us and he talked a lot about how and why refugees started coming into Greensboro. Sister Gretchen Reintjes lent her unique perspective, being an advocate for refugees in Greensboro for over a decade. In addition to being authorities on refugee resettlement in Greensboro, both Raleigh and Sister Gretchen have worked with Omer closely and are friends with him, so they were able to speak on Omer’s unique abilities to navigate the world of refugee resettlement.
In other news, in mid-December Omer and his family moved into a new house. We were there to capture the move-in. As movers unloaded the new furniture, Omer talked about how this move to a bigger house is the fulfillment of the American Dream. Omer’s children Moeyad and Mihad are excited to have their own rooms and Omer is excited to have enough room to host family parties, something that wasn’t possible in their previous and much smaller home.
Along with following Omer as he deals with the challenges of refugee resettlement and finding time for his family, our film is also following a newly arrived refugee family. We were present at the airport for the arrival of the Gurung Family, refugees from Bhutan. Three weeks after their arrival we visited them in their new apartment along with their case manager, Nsona Kayanda, another character in our film. In a few weeks we’ll check in with the Gurungs again to see how they’re getting along. Mr. Gurung has a job now, and we’re hoping to film him as he goes about his job at a local hotel.