“Day One” follows a group of teens from war zones in the Middle East and Africa as they are resettled in St. Louis and enrolled at Nahed Chapman New American Academy, a unique school in the St. Louis Public Schools system for refugees only. Traumatized on their arrival — having survived war and years in refugee camps — the kids are guided through an incredible program of healing, PTSD intervention, education, and adjustment by the school’s passionate and talented educators. The featured teens come from Somalia, Afghanistan, the Congo, Iraq, and Syria. These students and their families are faced with economic, language, psychological, and cultural challenges, sometimes dangerous living conditions, and the U.S.’s turbulent anti-immigrant political climate. Filmed over the course of a year, “Day One” follows the kids as they progress through their layers of grief and loss while attending school, forging new friendships, and preparing to be mainstreamed into “regular” public high school with the support and mentorship of their compassionate teachers and advocates.
Film CategoryInterfaith Competition International Spotlight Leon & Mary Strauss Documentary Spotlight Show-Me Cinema Spotlight on Inspiration Documentary Competition Women in Film Spotlight
SubjectEducation Human Rights Immigration Refugees Youth
International Institute St. Louis, St. Louis Mosaic Project