From here / Christina Antonakos-Wallace / USA / 90 min
CHRISTINA ANTONAKOS-WALLACE (Director/Producer/Camera) is a filmmaker and activist. Awards for her short films include the Euromedia Award for Culture & Diversity (2011), a Media that Matters Change Maker Award (2012), and recognition from the German Alliance for Democracy and Tolerance (2015). Her work has shown in over a dozen countries in diverse contexts from Google Headquarters, to NGOs to film-festivals. Commissions and grants for her work include the New America Foundation, Seattle Office of Arts and Culture, and the German Ministry for Civic Education. She has held residencies at Hedgebrook (2017) and the Port Townsend Film Festival (2015). She graduated with a BFA/BA from the New School & Parsons School of Design with honors. Her work was recognized with a five-year MTV Fight For Your Rights Scholarship (2002) and a Humanity in Action Fellowship (2006), which she completed at the United Nations High Commission on Refugees, in Berlin. FROM HERE is a personal project that grew from questions of how to advance racial equity in an era of globalization, and the search for her own sense of belonging in the context of her family’s migrations.
Humans have always migrated to survive and thrive. And while migration is as old as humanity, its speed has increased. Migration is currently changing the face of nearly every society around the world. Goods, weapons, capital, pollutants, and information can move ever more freely, but humans cannot. Millions are denied their basic dignity because of being born on the wrong side of a border or trying to cross one.
Far-right politicians and parliamentarians around the world have moved into the highest offices by exploiting anti-immigrant rhetoric. Underlying this reality are very deep, often hidden beliefs about who really belongs.
FROM HERE counters the culture of fear with a culture of possibility. It’s protagonists are caught in the crosshairs of polarized debates, who have chosen to transform their struggles into action to help shape the conversation.
Many things in my personal story drew me to make this film, including years of activism and some surprising firsthand encounters with xenophobia in Europe. Raised within the Greek-American community, I struggled to reconcile the tension between tradition and change in my own community. Ultimately, these experiences led me to believe that to create the multiracial democracies we hope for, we need narratives that speak directly to the unspoken beliefs of who does and doesn’t belong.
I was compelled to tell the stories of Tania, Sonny, Miman and Akim because of their unique and beautiful ways of creating belonging.