Nichols School and our Service and Social Justice Program are excited to be co-sponsoring another documentary film screening with Journey's End Refugees Services as part of their Western New York Refugee Film Festival. Nichols connections abound in this month’s film, titled “New Homeland.”
This film is produced by Nichols alumnus Eric Forman '97, who found the idea for the film while he was attending his 20th Nichols reunion in the Quad. “New Homeland” chronicles the story of Syrian and Iraqi kids attending Camp Pathfinder - a place dear to so many in the Nichols community who adventured to the camp as students.
Join us on Thursday, February 25 at 7 p.m. for "New Homeland," directed by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Barbara Kopple. We will be joined by Forman and Mike Sladden, co-owner and director of Camp Pathfinder, for our talkback. To register for your FREE pass and to watch the film trailer, visit www.wnyrff.org
Every summer since 1914, Camp Pathfinder, a summer camp located on a small island in the wilderness of Canada’s Algonquin Park, invites a community of boys and young men from across Canada and the United States to spend a few weeks in the back country learning how to camp, hike, canoe and fish.
Two years ago, Sladden, heartbroken by the tragic images from the growing global refugee crisis but inspired by Canada’s growing intake of asylum seekers, had an idea. He found a way to bring a group of displaced boys from war-torn Syria and Iraq, who recently settled in Canada, to spend the summer at the camp. “New Homeland” captures the experience of refugee campers in the summer of 2017 and shows how these boys grew from their summer at Camp Pathfinder.
In an interview with the Buffalo News, Forman shared how he too was changed by sharing the story of these children in “New Homeland.”
“One of the amazing powers of cinema and of good storytelling and documentary storytelling is the ability to humanize, and connect on the human level, with other people,” Forman told the Buffalo News
. “When you’re locked in a room and the lights are out and you’re looking at the big screen, you sit back, and whatever preconceptions you have…kind of fade away with the music and being able to watch the people on screen.”