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Refuge (2023)

Opens on April 7

Director: Din Blankenship, Erin Bernhardt Run Time: 78 min. Release Year: 2023

Country: United States
Language: Kurdish, English, Arabic

About the film:

Special Mention – U.S. Category, 2021 DOC NYC
Standing Up Award, 2022 Cleveland International Film Festival
Impact Award, 2022 Boulder International Film Festival

A leader in a white nationalist hate group finds healing from the people he once hated – a Muslim heart doctor and his town of refugees. The film is set in the most diverse square mile in America – Clarkston, Georgia – and follows a Syrian Kurd, a former Klansman, and a town of refugees who seek belonging in a country that blames them for its problems. Swimming against the current of an increasingly polarized and isolated America, each must decide whether they will risk knowing and being known by those who oppose them.

Ultimately, Refuge (2023) uncovers what is possible when we leave the security of our tribes and what is at stake for our country if we don’t.

“An unforgettable story of unity, hope, and positivity.”

—Alan Ng, Film Threat

About the filmmakers:

Erin Levin Bernhardt is a film producer, writer, and director. She has won numerous film festival awards, two Peabody Awards, and an Emmy. Her first independent feature documentary, Imba Means Sing (2015), aired worldwide on Netflix, Delta Studio, and all major VOD platforms. Prior to independent filmmaking, Erin served in the Peace Corps in Madagascar, worked as a Writer/Producer at CNN, and as the Director of Engagement for Points of Light, President George. H. W. Bush’s foundation.

Din Blankenship is an architectural designer turned filmmaker. She has a Masters in Architecture with High Distinction from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Virginia. Din has designed transitional shelters for refugees and was invited to present her work at the Symposium for the Architecture of Disaster Relief. In 2021, Din founded Late Bloomer Films.

The filmmaking duo’s first feature documentary as directors, Refuge (2023) premiered at DOC NYC in 2021 and has won numerous film festival awards.

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Ohio Arts Council
Greater Columbus Arts Council
The Columbus Foundation
Campus Partners
National Endowment for the Arts
CD 92.9 FM
G&J Pepsi
WOSU Public Media


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