Sponsorland: A film about one family's transition from Syria to small-town Picton, Ontario

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Image Copyright: TVO and The Cutting Factory. Used with permission.

Canadians became international heroes during the Syrian refugee crisis when they stepped up, opened their doors, and sponsored thousands in need… but is there a catch?

Abdel Malek and Sawsen have escaped a civil war with their eleven children to Picton, Ontario. They’ve gone from total strangers to instant family with a sponsorship group headed by Carlyn Moulton and her merry band of well-intentioned do-gooders.

SponsorLand follows the day to day lives of a Syrian refugee family brought to Canada in the fall of 2015 by PEC Syria, a private sponsor group in Prince Edward County.  It's a thoughtful, intimate take on the dynamic between newcomers to Canada and their sponsors who commit money, emotional and sweat equity to support resettlement and the family who while grateful, wonder what they have to sacrifice to fit in.


With two films on the Oscar shortlist -- Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn GouldPromise to The Dead: The Exile Journey of Ariel Dorfman, Emmy-nominated Promise to The Dead:  The Exile Journey of Ariel Dorfman and Gemini-winning Genius Within, Michèle Hozer has been working as a filmmaker and editor in Canada since 1987. 

To date, she has worked on more than 50 documentaries that have received accolades from the world’s most prestigious film festivals, including the Sundance Film festival (Shake Hands with the Devil: The Journey of Romeo Dallaire) and IDFA (West Wind The Vision of Tom Thompson) in Amsterdam. 

In 2015 Michele completed Sugar Coated, her first solo feature length documentary as director, editor, and producer. The doc was honoured with The Donald Brittain Award for Best Social and Political Documentary at the 2016 CSA’s and is presently available on Netflix.


Image Copyright: TVO and The Cutting Factory. Used with permission.


For more information about David Peck's podcasting, writing and public speaking please visit his site here or check out the site of his podcast on film, social change and much more.

With thanks to producer Josh Snethlage and Mixed Media Sound.

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