June 20th is World Refugee Day, a day to raise awareness of forcibly displaced people worldwide. As of January 2017, over 4.8 million Syrians had registered with the UN as refugees as they fled civil war in their country. Over half of these refugees are children. POV’s 30th season begins with three feature films and two shorts about the Syrian war and refugee crisis. Community organizations, libraries, teachers and engaged individuals can bring this pressing national conversation into their communities by partnering with POV on free screenings prior to the films’ broadcast on PBS. We recommend these films as a way to see the human stories behind the headlines, and to foster informed dialogue about issues like immigration, religious diversity and U.S. refugee policy. To facilitate these conversations, POV provides free resources to accompany each film, such as discussion guides, reading lists, and lesson plans.

Learn more about the films and explore event ideas below, including suggested local partners and resources such as screening flyers, press releases and photos.

Dalya’s Other Country: Dalya’s Other Country tells the nuanced story of members of a family displaced by the Syrian conflict who are remaking themselves after the parents separate. Effervescent teen Dalya goes to Catholic high school and her mother, Rudayna, enrolls in college as they both walk the line between their Muslim values and the new world in which they find themselves. A co-presentation with the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM). Screen the filmPartner Toolkit

Ideas for Community Partners:

  • Local Parent/Teacher Associations
  • Community Colleges
  • Women’s book or film clubs
  • Interfaith and religious groups
  • Local chapters of refugee resettlement organizations

The War Show: Radio host Obaidah Zytoon captures the fate of Syria through the intimate lens of a small circle of friends and journalists. Beginning with peaceful Arab Spring protests in 2011, The War Show offers a four-year, ground-level look at how the country spiraled into bloody civil war. Official Selection of the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival. Screen the filmPartner Toolkit

Ideas for Community Partners:

  • Youth media organizations
  • Community media partners
  • Immigration organizations

Last Men in Aleppo: After five years of war in Syria, the remaining citizens of Aleppo are getting ready for a siege. Through the eyes of volunteer rescue workers called the White Helmets, Last Men in Aleppo allows viewers to experience the daily life, death, and struggle in the streets, where they are fighting for sanity in a city where war has become the norm. Winner, 2017 Sundance World Cinema Grand Jury Prize for Documentary. Screen the filmPartner Toolkit

Ideas for Community Partners:

  • First Responders
  • Volunteer Fire Departments
  • EMTs
  • Nurses groups

4.1 Miles: In the Oscar-nominated short film 4.1 Miles, we follow a day in the life of Kyriakos Papadopoulos, a captain in the Greek Coast Guard who is caught in the middle of the refugee crisis still embroiling Europe. Despite limited resources, the captain and his crew attempt to save thousands of migrants from drowning in the Aegean Sea. Nominated, 2017 Academy Award for Best Documentary Short Subject. Screen the filmPartner Toolkit

Ideas for Community Partners:

  • First responders
  • Refugee resettlement organizations
  • Interfaith volunteer groups

From Damascus to Chicago: In the documentary short, From Damascus to Chicago, two young Syrian siblings recently resettled in Chicago enroll in a dance class, while the film follows their family’s experiences in navigating a new city and country. Screen the filmPartner Toolkit

Ideas for Community Partners:

  • Dance Studios
  • Immigrant affairs councils
  • Refugee resettlement organizations
  • Parent/Teacher Associations
  • After-school programs and youth groups

There are just a couple quick steps to borrow films from POV’s DVD Lending Library:

  1. Join the POV Community Network. Check your inbox for a link to confirm your email address. A member of our team will approve your registration within 1 business day.
  2. Request: Once approved, log in to your account and click “My Events” to register a screening

Questions? Email events@pov.org. Follow POV’s Community Engagement and Education team on Twitter @povengage and we’ll help you find the right resources for your goals.

Visit our local events calendar for a full list of events happening across the country and join our Community Network to host a screening of your own!

Published by

POV Staff
POV (a cinema term for "point of view") is television's longest-running showcase for independent non-fiction films. POV premieres 14-16 of the best, boldest and most innovative programs every year on PBS. Since 1988, POV has presented over 400 films to public television audiences across the country. POV films are known for their intimacy, their unforgettable storytelling and their timeliness, putting a human face on contemporary social issues.