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Project of the Day: ‘For You Were Once Strangers’

Project of the Day: 'For You Were Once Strangers'

Here’s your daily dose of an indie film in progress; at the end of the week, you’ll have the chance to vote for your favorite.

In the meantime: Is this a movie you’d want to see? Tell us in the comments.

“For You Were Once Strangers”

Tweetable Logline:

When Naka, a 15-year-old South Sudanese refugee, is about to be deported to her war-torn country, Israeli society rises to change her fate.

Elevator Pitch: Fifteen year-old Naka is an anomaly. An honor student in Israel, she glides through Hebrew, English and Arabic fluently, sings in a band, spends her time on Facebook, and dreams of serving in the army. But she is not Israeli. She came on foot through the desert with her family six years ago, a refugee from southern Sudan fleeing the largest genocide since the Holocaust. In 60 days, she faces deportation. This is the provocative and surprising story of the fight uniting South Sudanese refugees and Israeli citizens as they oppose their government’s blind immigration policy.

Production Team:

Director/Producer/Cinematographer : Ruth Berdah-Canet
Editor: Laura Minnear

About the Production: I never questioned my allegiance to Israel or its founding principles as a Jewish Nation. But the shock upon hearing a news story about the deportation of 700 South Sudanese who fled a genocide and found refuge in Israel created a crack in my carefully constructed worldview. I left within the week to understand how “my people” could forget their own past as refugees. I witnessed a turning point in Israeli society: when the crude mirror of History stopped reflecting unity behind the founding principles. It left me always wondering: would I “betray” my people to save a stranger’s life? 

Current Status: Final stages of post production.

If you have an in-the-works project and you’d like to be profiled in an upcoming iW Project of the Day column, submit yourself by filling out this form!

This Article is related to: Filmmaker Toolkit and tagged




Temma Kaplan

This is a dynamite story that should be told. Can't wait to see this film.


very important issue.


Looks amazing and should bring some much needed publicity to an important situation

Janet Derbish

what a wonderful film!


Looking forward to watch the full documentary. Fascinating and extremely sensitive subject. Very courageous film-maker to expose this story to the public. Bravo!


Bold filmmaking, beautiful images….where will you play?


Finally someone brave enough to see both sides of the dilemma! Excellent! Where and when will you play?


Very promising. I can see that being shown on HBO documentaries!
Is it available yet?!


Bold filmaking. Very interesting. I hope we can see it on TV.


Finally someone brave enough to see both sides of the dilemma


Spero questo film possa presto essere divulgato in


This movie looks like it will shake the ground. Where will you play?


Powerful and heartbreaking. When and where is this movie coming out?

Dani varadi

This is mind blowing, where and when will it be screened? I want to take my team and colleagues of my NGO !

Mike Brown

Even thought I consider myself knowledgeable about the topic of Israel I was blown away by this trailer and the story about the plight of the South Sudanese in Israel. What an important story to tell, and for all those to see and hear, no matter where they are from.


Touching, moving story. Want to see where the story leads.


This trailer gave me goosebumps.


What a sensitive topic ! We want to watch the finished movie right now !


When this movie is coming out ? Could we have the chance to see it in France ?
This is a very interesting subject.


Such an interesting and powerful topic. The trailer is amazing, cannot wait to see this!


Very sad and difficult subject, it's happening everywhere. Looking forward to seeing the final film!


Great topic. Israel is a democracy where the "human being" should be the only value that matters. Keep on unfolding this beautiful story.


This is an important subject. Excellent to see a film tackling it. Trailer looks great- can't wait to see the finished film.


I just read about this subject in the Wash Post in December. Thanks for tackling this very controversial issue.


When and where can we see that movie??? The trailer and the story gave me chills!


Painful issue for both sides that made a lot of headlines at the time , the trailer looks promising and I look forward to the movie to hear the inside story . I think the maker of the movie is very brave to address such a topic and I hope the movie will draw the attention of decision makers on both sides and help them see the suffering people have to go through as a result of their actions


Timely subject matter and beautifully composed!!! I cant wait to see the whole thing.


Very good subject contributing to Israel vibrant democracy! First images are excellent and we want to see the whole movie asap


This is such a hot topic. Very moving trailer. Looking forward to watch the whole thing.


The trailer was powerful and heartbreaking. What a timely issue to make a documentary on. Can't wait to see the movie!!


The trailer looks awesome! Can't wait for this to come out.. such an interesting topic.

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