Year of Production: 2017
The private refugee sponsorship program is hailed internationally and celebrated amongst Canadians from coast to coast to coast. With tens of thousands involved, few of us know or understand the day-to-day realities of this national experiment.
SPONSORLAND dives into the lives of a rambunctious Syrian family of 13 and their community of enthusiastic sponsors in rural Ontario, looking at the joys and challenges on both sides.
While grateful for a new home, the family struggles with the expectations of the sponsors who straddle between the lines of care and control in their determined attempt to help the family assimilate to Canadian life. With an enormous amount of time, money and energy pouring into their efforts, hidden expectations arise.
From school dances, to language barriers, part-time work and figuring out long term goals for the future; the film is witness to the universal pains of resettlement. Through the lens of the eldest brothers and mother, we are asked how to reconcile with the guilt of finding a safe haven when so many are left behind in the conflict. How does you navigate between having agency in your new home while pleasing those who extend a helping hand? And most importantly, what does it mean to reinvent their lives under the sponsors' watch?
PRODUCTION COMPANY: 150 Doc Production Inc. ,The Cutting Factory Inc.