New Immigrant and Refugee VisionsFilms by and about Immigrants
Testimony from New Immigrant and Refugee Visions (NIRV) trainees:
“Getting to watch an editor allowed me to think as an “editor” while filming.”
“I’m a totally new person on video camera. It’s good to know the basic function of a camera in the first week.”
“I learned about general storytelling and basic principles of filmmaking. I learned the importance of holding the camera for seven seconds; thinking as an editor; analyzing the story and the different approaches to covering. I also learned how to use the tripod, our friend…”
“The 7-second rule is something great to have learned. It will change the quality of the film I will shoot in the future.”
“The lessons I have learned here are above my expectations – the explanations and the way the training is conducted is very exciting.”
“The training is interactive and open to participation by all members. It is not one of those conventional one-way approaches to learning.”
“I thought it would be hard to communicate and to be understood. But I was wrong! I feel very understood.”
“I feel that this is a unique opportunity to be here and also bonding and learning and being open/curious about each other’s culture. We all worked well with the different groups we teamed up with.”
“People are serious about this project. … Everyone is working hard, and even though we came from different parts of the world, we speak different languages, and have different cultures, we are very comfortable and productive as a team.”
Learn more about the makers and making of the New Immigrant and Refugee Visions films:
- The NIRV Trainees
- The NIRV Training Team
- The Training Begins
- Editing & Salsa
- NIRVana – A behind-the-scenes view of the training by Christine Arveil
- Challenges & Postponement
- Meet the Filmmakers, Meet your Neighbors
- Premiere at Boston Public Library
Films – New Immigrant and Refugee Visions
Story 2: Worlds Apart at Home, by Abdirahman Abdi
Story 3: She’s an American Child, by Rafael DeLeon
Story 4: Navigating Hope, by Sayed Najib Hashimi
Story 5: Lift with Your Heart, by Braulio Tellez-Vilches
Story 6: Seeking Settled Ground, by Mohammad Arifuzzaman
Story 7: The Arranger, by Wilson Thelimo Louis
Story 8: Rhythms of Respect, by Katsyris Rivera-Kientz
Story 9: Borrowing Fire, by Kebrewosen Densamo
Story 10: Pulse of a Dream, by Mubarak Muwonge Nsamba
Editor: Alex Morelli; Additional Sound and Camera: Abdirahman Abdi
Emigrated from China in 2015, lives in Revere, MA
Qin is a scholar-activist focused on women’s empowerment. She began her research on women in rural China. Now she works with women and immigrants from all over the world as a volunteer at Women Encouraging Empowerment in Revere.
Editor: Peter Rhodes; Additional Sound: Mubarak Muwonge Nsamba
Emigrated from Somalia in 2007, lives in Roxbury, MA
Abdi came to America as a young boy and has remained active in his local and Somali community. He has volunteered his time and multi-media production skills to advance the work of the Somali Development Center and the North American Somali Students Union. Abdi graduated in May 2018 from UMass Boston with a degree in media communications and sociology. With continued mentoring from CSFilm, he has continued since the NIRV training to produce short documentaries on economic and social issues in his Roxbury neighborhood. Abdi was hired in 2020 as a freelance videographer and editor by Boston news station, WCVB-TV, Ch 5.
Editor: Zayde Buti; Additional Sound: Sayed Hashimi; Additional Editor: Hannah Engelson
Emigrated from the Dominican Republic in 2009, lives in Lynn, MA
Rafael teaches computer literacy at the KIPP Academy Charter School in Lynn, where he first learned English upon arriving in America. He co-founded The Latino Support Network and produces “Camino hacia la Integracion” (Pathways to Integration), a local TV show that interviews immigrants about the many ways they integrate into American society.
Sayed Najib Hashimi
Emigrated from Afghanistan in 2016, lives in Washington, DC
Sayed grew up in Afghanistan and was a refugee in Pakistan. He has a degree in literature from Kabul University. He worked from 2005 to 2016 as a journalist and translator with the BBC and NATO Media Group in Afghanistan. In Nov 2016 Sayed and his family were granted permanent residency through the Special Immigration Visa to the United States. Until recently he worked at the New American Center in Lynn MA assisting Afghan and other new immigrants and refugees. He and his family now live in Washington DC where Sayed was working as a Communications Officer at the Afghan Embassy until the takeover by the Taliban in 2021. He is now working for a refugee resettlement agency in Virginia.
Editor: Alex Morelli; Additional Camera and Sound: Patricia Goudvis, Mohammad Arifuzzaman
Themes covered: Immigrant contributions; Immigrant origins: the Caribbean;
Emigrated from Cuba in 2017, lives in East Boston, MA
Braulio was a professor and career diplomat in Cuba. He works at ABM Aviation as a safety and catering instructor and volunteers with Catholic Charities and the Irish International Immigrant Center. He is studying to become a Spanish teacher in the Boston Public Schools.
Editors: Devvrat Mishra, Zayde Buti; Translators: Mustafa Samdani, Nahina Nasrin, and Mohammad Istiak
Emigrated from Bangladesh in 2015, lives in Quincy, MA
Mohammad is a software engineer with interests in music, theater and photography. He demonstrated incredible determination throughout the NIRV filmmaking process – filming all of one story only to have the family grow fearful about participating. His story about Mohammad Anwar is particularly relevant as so many Rohingya refugees have sought refuge in Bangladesh, his country of origin.
Editor: Zayde Buti
Emigrated from Haiti in 2016, lives in Hyde Park, MA
Thelimo is a poet and activist immersed in Haitian literature, social issues and politics. He studied law in Haiti and had a paralegal fellowship in Boston. As he pursues further studies he continues to volunteer and use his skills in a variety of jobs.
Editor: Monica Cohen; Additional Sound and Camera: Monica Cohen; Additional Editor: Zayde Buti
Themes covered: Immigrant contributions; Immigrant origins: the Caribbean
Moved from Puerto Rico* in 2016, lives in Cambridge, MA
Katsy is a scholar-activist who came to Boston in 2016 to join the Transnational, Cultural and Community Studies program at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. She works closely with the Puerto Rican diaspora in the United States on issues related to Puerto Rican cultural identity and Puerto Rico’s political relationship with the United States. Currently, she is pursuing a PhD in Sociology at UMass Boston.
*Puerto Ricans are American citizens but many feel like immigrants in the US.
Editor: Lydia Eccles; Additional Editor: Jorgy Cruz
Emigrated from Ethiopia in 2001, lives in Cambridge, MA
Kebrewosen has a degree in public health and works at Boston Children’s Hospital. Arriving in the United States in 2001 as a young girl, she has a special understanding of the challenges for youth in migration. She is actively involved with her local cable access station and hopes to use documentary filmmaking to integrate her love of film and her infectious desire to help people.
Editor: Zayde Buti; Additional Editor: Heather Cassano
Themes covered: Immigrants at work; Immigrant origins: Africa;
Emigrated from Uganda in 2017, lives in Lowell, MA
Mubarak studied forestry in Uganda, but worked in IT, website design and digital filmmaking. His wife, Zaamu, studied Library Sciences and worked as an academic librarian. They applied for and won the Diversity Green Card lottery, which allowed them to come with their four young children to the US.
Organize a Screen&Discuss
We are looking for locations and hosts to Screen&Discuss a selection of the New Immigrant and Refugee Visions films online and, post virus, in-person. Learn how you can host a Screen&Discuss.
To maximize the impact of these events, you can help us reach people in your community who are both welcoming and resistant to new immigrants.
Special Thanks to our Funders:
McMillan Stewart Foundation, Marika Foundation for Social Action, Jeanne Steig, Pathfinder Fund, Viram Foundation, Patricia Davis and Wesley Callender, Keating Family Charitable Fund, Anuradha Desai, Mary Mackay and Edward Wheatley, Amelie Ratliff, Schrafft Charitable Trust, Richard and Dorothy Koerner, Christine Arveil and Benoit Rolland, Vishakha Desai and Bob Oxnam, Antara Desai and Arjun Menon, Paul and Patricia Fullagar, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Robert Lee Buchanan, Anonymous, Barbara Martin, Swati Desai and Gary Stephens, Katherine Yeh and Jack Spence, The Shimkin Foundation, The Chavda Family, Julie and Abhijit Desai, The First Church of Wenham, …and hundreds of individual donors like you! Thank You!
Samira Ahmed Fiin, family and community; Caryn Anderson; Rosi, Brian and Alisa Amador; Mohammad Anwar; Jean Appolon, family and community; Jorge Arce and community; Christine Arveil; Yonas Badi and community; Mani Biswa, family and community; Damien Boutillon; Sara Bouvier; Jordy Brazo; Alla Brikman; Julie Brown; Junior Buissereth and community; Zayde Buti; Karen Carpenter; Kate Carpenter-Bernier; Hugo Carvajal; Monica Cohen; Samantha Corsini; Jorgy Cruz; Anuradha Desai; Lydia Eccles; Mary Elizabeth Ford; Patricia Goudvis; Cheryl Hamilton; Lor Holmes; Kenny Kozol; Hannah Lee; Julie Mallozzi; Denise Marika; Carolina Melgarejo; Pablo Minier; Alex Morelli; Zaamu Namigadde, family and friends; Rosalyn Negron; Sarah Poole; Stephanie Scherpf; Gary Shaw; Susan Steele; Reverend Evan Thayer; Aka Rahmatullah; Lata Rana, Dimple Rana and family; Peter Rhodes; Jerry Rubin; Annabelle and Esther; Abdirahman Yusuf; 3 Dimensions Health Services; Boston Public Libraries and Librarians; Brighton High School; Brookline High School; Cambridge Community Television; Church of St Augustine and St Martin staff and community; City of Boston Office for Immigrant Advancement; Dance Complex; El Oriental de Cuba; Evangelical Christian Nepali Church; Follen Community Church; International Institute of New England; Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center; Jewish Vocational Services; KIPP Acadamy; Lynn Community Health Center; New American Center; Sol y Canto; Somali Development Center; Spontaneous Celebrations; Women Encouraging Empowerment
- Training, Production and Public Engagement Director: Michael Sheridan
- Training and Public Engagement Manager: Caryn Anderson
- Training and Post-Production Coordinator: Samantha Corsini
- Public Engagement Coordinators: Zayde Buti, Sarah Chapple-Sokol, Aakanksha Gupta
- Interns: Andrew Grant, Rachel Darke
- Volunteer Training Assistants and Advisors: Patricia Goudvis, Anuradha Desai, Christine Arveil, Denise Marika
- Video Editors: Zayde Buti, Peter Rhodes (volunteer), Lydia Eccles (volunteer), Dan Girmus, Alex Morelli, Monica Cohen, Devvrat Mishra, Jorgy Cruz, Beyza Boyacioglu, Heather Cassano, Hannah Engelson
- Volunteer Training Food Cooks: Anuradha Desai, Christine Arveil, Damien Boutillon, Carolina Melgarejo, Karen Carpenter, Kate Carpenter-Bernier, Mary Elizabeth Ford
- Communications and Outreach Volunteers: Stephanie Scherpf, William Bonney, Jorgy Cruz
- Event Volunteers: Susan Steele, Gary Shaw, Katie Bradshaw, Sue-Ellen Hershman-Tcherepnin
- Training site donated by: The Church of St Augustin and St Martin, Roxbury MA