**** FOR ACCESS TO THE FULL ~10 minute FILM, email email@example.com ****
Filmmaker: Kebrewosen (Kiki) Densamo
Editor: Lydia Eccles
Additional Editor: Jorgy 'Jorgito' Cruz
“In Ethiopia, growing up, we used to go to the neighbor and say, ‘Can I borrow some fire?’ because we didn’t have matches. So people take a little fire and go back to their kitchen and start their own fire.” Yonas tells this story to his congregation as an analogy for their relationship with God, borrowing God’s “fire” to warm and feed their own lives. It also symbolizes what Yonas sees as his purpose as an immigrant. After a long period of hardship in his early days in the US in big northern cities, he found restoration in the Bible and moved to the rural South to help people struggling with depression, homelessness and addiction. Contrary to stereotypes about immigrants and rural Americans, Yonas finds that his immigrant heritage, accent and personality actually open doors with people everywhere: in the gas station and two coffee shops he owns, and through his church, which began as a bible study group in his gas station.
Emigrated from Ethiopia in 2001, lives in Cambridge, MA
Kebrewosen has a degree in public health and works at Boston Children's Hospital. Arriving in the United States in 2001 as a young girl, she has a special understanding of the challenges for youth in migration. She is actively involved with her local cable access station and hopes to use documentary filmmaking to integrate her love of film and her infectious desire to help people.
New Immigrant and Refugee Visions (NIRV) is a collection of documentary films produced by Community Supported Film and made by new immigrants. Their films provide a unique insider perspective on the integration challenges faced by immigrants and the contributions they make to our culture, economy and social fabric. The filmmakers made these short films to engage communities in dialogue about immigrants and immigration in the United States. CSFilm: csfilm.org/