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by Taylor Lindsay
February 24, 2014 5:19 PM
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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!


  • AHMED ISMAIL | March 4, 2014 5:23 PMReply


  • Temma Kaplan | March 4, 2014 7:30 AMReply

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

  • DOV DVIR | March 3, 2014 4:55 PMReply

    very important issue.

  • Kate | March 3, 2014 4:30 PMReply

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

  • Janet Derbish | March 3, 2014 9:45 AMReply

    what a wonderful film!

  • maurizio | February 27, 2014 9:27 PMReply

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

  • Tomer | February 26, 2014 4:45 PMReply

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

  • Celine | February 26, 2014 4:43 PMReply

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

  • ArtChi | February 26, 2014 8:38 AMReply

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

  • soso | February 26, 2014 5:06 AMReply

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

  • Ferdy | February 26, 2014 5:06 AMReply

    Finally someone brave enough to see both sides of the dilemma

  • Jeanne | February 26, 2014 5:06 AMReply

    Spero questo film possa presto essere divulgato in

  • Joel | February 26, 2014 5:05 AMReply

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

  • Lili | February 26, 2014 12:06 AMReply

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

  • Dani varadi | February 25, 2014 10:50 PMReply

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

  • Mike Brown | February 25, 2014 10:47 PMReply

    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.

  • Dan | February 25, 2014 10:32 PMReply

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

  • caroline | February 25, 2014 2:56 PMReply

    This trailer gave me goosebumps.

  • bertrand | February 25, 2014 2:50 PMReply

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

  • caine | February 25, 2014 2:39 PMReply

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

  • Karine | February 25, 2014 2:18 PMReply

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

  • Reina | February 25, 2014 1:47 PMReply

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

  • Alain | February 25, 2014 12:40 PMReply

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

  • Shannon | February 25, 2014 10:54 AMReply

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

  • Cassie | February 25, 2014 10:42 AMReply

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

  • Odil | February 25, 2014 10:11 AMReply

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

  • David | February 24, 2014 9:30 PMReply

    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

  • Don | February 24, 2014 9:12 PMReply

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

  • Daniel | February 24, 2014 8:53 PMReply

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

  • Brian | February 24, 2014 8:16 PMReply

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

  • Pavi | February 24, 2014 8:13 PMReply

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

  • Kate | February 24, 2014 8:07 PMReply

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