UNSETTLED: Seeking Refuge in America
Film poster for "Unsettled: Seeking Refuge in America" with people holding hands.
UNSETTLED: Seeking Refuge in America
Film poster for "Unsettled: Seeking Refuge in America" with people holding hands.
LGBT refugees and asylum seekers from Africa and the Middle East fleeing persecution to seek better and safer lives in the U.S.

UNSETTLED: Seeking Refuge in America

Regular price $559.00


HIGHLY RECOMMENDED - Educational Media Reviews Online | BEST LGBTQ Film - New York Cinematography Awards | AUDIENCE AWARD FOR DOCUMENTARY FEATURE - The Tel Aviv International LGBT Film Festival

LGBTQ+ Studies • Immigration & Border Studies • Sociology • Law & Civil Rights • International Studies • African(a) Studies • Middle East Studies • American Studies

Date of Completion: 2019 | Run Time: 81 minutes​​ | Language: English | Captions: Yes (Available in English & Thai) | Includes: Transcript, Viewing Guide & High School Discussion Guide Director & Producer: Tom Shepard | Producer: Jen Gilomen | Executive Producer: D. Stuart Harrison Editor: Eva Brzeski Impact Producer: Maya Worthy Executive Producer for ITVS: Sally Jo Fifer

UNSETTLED is a feature documentary that traces the untold stories of LGBTQ+ refugees and asylum seekers who have fled intense persecution in Africa and the Middle East and are trying to resettle in the United States.  Having escaped Islamic terrorist death threats in Syria, beatings by a homophobic father, and a nation devastated by war, Subhi finds his voice as a leader for refugee rights in the U.S. Lesbian couple Cheyenne and Mari flee brutal harassment in their native Angola to face uncertain asylum through the American immigration courts while pursuing their dreams of becoming musicians. Junior, a gender non-conforming gay man from the Congo, struggles to create a livelihood and secure basic housing while exploring a more fluid gender identity. While American volunteers and organizations work to provide much needed legal and financial support, these individuals process past trauma and navigate the cultural and economic landscape of the San Francisco Bay Area. UNSETTLED explores the challenges these immigrants face and honors their resilience, hope and determination.

Video Librarian
Editor's Choice
Highly Recommended
"Brimming with emotion, the stories here lend an empathetic eye to their subjects, while highlighting the facts of what immigrants have to endure upon their arrival in the U.S. You’ll get a harrowing, but hopeful picture of immigration in this pointed and emotional plea to consider the unique plight of the LGBTQ refugee and asylum seeker. A necessary addition for documentary and LGBTQ shelves."

Educational Media Reviews Online (EMRO) | Patti McCall-Wright, Systematic Review Librarian, University of Florida
Highly Recommended
“Their stories are personal and deeply poignant and fortunately have a happy ending but one is left to ponder all the stories that do not.”

"This moving documentary effectively gives a face to these young immigrants and their search for safety."

Variety Magazine
“An engrossing study in human interest, as well as an empathetic look at the particular struggles of U.S. immigration in the new millennium.”

San Francisco Chronicle
"Stirring and timely"

Forum with Michael Krasny
"Moving ... poignant"

KPFA 94.1
"Unsettling ... brilliant and gorgeous"

"Powerful ... unflinching"

Audience Award for Documentary Feature | TLVFest: The Tel Aviv International LGBT Film Festival
Best LGBTQ FilmNew York Cinematography Awards
Grand Jury Award for Best Documentary Outfest
Award of Excellence Special Mention: Documentary Feature 
| Award of Merit Special Mention: Cinematography | Award of Excellence: LGBT | Impact Docs Awards
Best Documentary | Audience Choice Award | QCinema: Fort Worth LGBT International Film Festival
Jury Prize Runner Up Out on Film
Runner-Up Jury Award Best Documentary Film Tampa Bay International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival
Audience Favorite Feature Film Bent Film Festival
Honorable Mention Jury Award Best Documentary Feature Film Seattle Queer Film Festival 
Best Feature Dayton LBGT Film Festival
Best Documentary Alexander Valley Film Festival
Best Documentary Scottsdale International Film Festival
Official Selection National Association for Multicultural Education Film Festival

For over 20 years, filmmaker Tom Shepard has produced, directed and edited documentary films.  Five of his feature projects — Scout’s Honor, Knocking, Whiz Kids, The Grove and UNSETTLED — have aired nationally on PBS (including the programs POV, Independent Lens, PBS Plus and Doc World). Coverage of his work has been featured prominently in U.S. and foreign press including reviews of four of his films in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle and Boston Globe among others.  Shepard’s films have played in hundreds of film festivals worldwide including Full Frame, the San Francisco International Film Festival, Silver Docs and the Sundance Film Festival where he has won two top awards.
Shepard has received funding from the Independent Television Service (four times) and support from California Humanities, the Enterprise Fund, the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation among others.  He is the former Chairman of New Day Films and in 2013, founded the Youth Documentary Academy in Colorado where he directs and teaches regularly.  Prior to becoming an independent filmmaker, Shepard worked for Linda Wertheimer as her editorial assistant at National Public Radio. He graduated from Stanford University where he studied human biology and film.