This is Home: A Refugee Story

THIS IS HOME is an intimate portrait of four Syrian refugee families arriving in America and struggling to find their footing. Displaced from their homes and separated from loved ones, they are given eight months of assistance from the International Rescue Committee to become self-sufficient.  As they learn to adapt to challenges, including the newly imposed travel ban, their strength and resilience are tested.  It is a universal story, highlighted by humor and heartbreak, about what it’s like to start over, no matter the obstacles.

After surviving the traumas of war, the families arrive in Baltimore, Maryland and are met with a new set of trials. They attend cultural orientation classes and job training sessions where they must “learn America” – everything from how to take public transportation to negotiating new gender roles – all in an ever-changing and increasingly hostile political environment. Their goals are completely relatable: find a job, pay the bills, and make a better life for the next generation.

We witness the families’ struggles and triumphs up close through the drama of everyday life. Through intimate access, this cinema vérité film takes a fresh look at the classic American immigration story and challenges us to see past differences to find common ground. THIS IS HOME goes beyond the statistics, headlines, and political rhetoric to tell deeply personal stories, putting a human face on the global refugee crisis.

This is Home was awarded the Audience Award: World Cinema Documentary at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and a duPont-Columbia Award in 2019.

ScreeningsWatch Now

Directed and Produced by
Alexandra Shiva

Produced by
Lindsey Megrue

Executive Producers
Princess Firyal of Jordan
Jason Blum

Toby Shimin

Director of Photography
Laela Kilbourn

T. Griffin


“Stirring…makes a heartening call for open-armed empathy in an America still guarded on that front.”

— Variety/Guy Lodge

“The small industry of documentaries about Syria shouldn't deter you from the affecting pull of THIS IS HOME."

— LA Times/Robert Abele

“THIS IS HOME offers up a nuanced and tonally balanced take, embodying misfortune and hope in even measure.”

— The Playlist / Gary Garrison

“Compelling…A reminder of how precarious the idea of the American Dream can become.”

— Salt Lake City Weekly / Scott Renshaw

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