Day One (Home Video Version)
For Personal Use Only
Traumatized Middle Eastern and African teen refugees are guided through a program of healing by devoted educators at a unique St. Louis public school for refugees only.
Directed by Lori Miller
Director of Photography: Brian O'Connell
Editor: David Beerman
Music: Tom Howe, Mike Reed
Executive Producers: Kirt Eftekhar, Peter Tao
Co-Producer: Brian O'Connell
A 31 Films Production
DAY ONE follows a group of teenage refugees from war-torn countries who are enrolled at a unique public school for refugees and immigrants-only in St. Louis, MO, where they are guided through an inspirational program of education, healing and trauma intervention by devoted educators, some of whom have chosen to relocate to the inner city to support their students.
"The humanity of the students and teachers shines from the screen and renews our faith in the promise of America." Jorge Riopedre, President, Casa De Salud
Over the course of a year, we watch the kids progress through layers of grief and loss as they attend school, forge new friendships, and prepare to be mainstreamed into local public high schools. Their triumphs and tribulations all unfold with St. Louis as the backdrop: a rust-belt city that has taken the bold step of welcoming immigrants as a solution for their growing socio-economic problems.
Grade Level: 6 - 12, College, Adults
US Release Date: 2019
Copyright Date: 2019
DVD ISBN: 1-948745-30-5
"A film everyone should see...Reveals the incredible courage and determination these young people have with the difficult challenge of learning to navigate in a new school environment and a new culture. At our school, the personal histories and the personal triumphs of our first generation students are too often invisible. Day One renders them visible."
Brian Jennings, English Teacher, Bosnian Studies, Affton School District
"Day One humanizes the modern national discussion of refugees coming to the United States. We see the trial and tribulations of refugees, with the help of dedicated educators, adjusting to life in the heartland of the United States. The film is a heartwarming antidote to the poisonous attacks on refugees and immigrants. As the newcomers adjust to life in St. Louis, they inspire the community that they join."
Kevin R. Johnson, Dean, UC Davis School of Law, Co-Editor, ImmigrationProf Blog, Co-Author, Opening the Floodgates? Why America Needs to Rethink Its Border and Immigration Laws
"Day One is proof that when a community comes together to educate, empower, and support our most vulnerable, then we become the best we can be. Thank you for this glimpse into a journey of struggle, hope, and perseverance for both the students and educators."
Susan Werremeyer, Community Advocate, Welcome Neighbor St. Louis
"An excellent tool to raise awareness and provide insight into the tumultuous first years of a refugee's placement in the U.S. By honing in on education, the film acquaints audience members with the unique perspectives of refugee children and school administrators, and it highlights the dedication and perseverance of both parties which facilitates the successful integration of newly arrived immigrants. Day One is a prime example of storytelling as education, outreach, activism and advocacy and it is a wonderful film to promote understanding and tolerance."
Ashley Faye, Development Director, Refugee Services of Texas
DVD includes SDH captions for the deaf and hard-of-hearing, and scene selection.
The Film's Website
Awards and Festivals
St. Louis International Film Festival
Newport Beach Film Festival
Milwaukee Film Festival
Port Townsend Film Festival
New Haven Documentary Film Festival
Portland International Kids' Film Festival
Esalen Inspirational Film Festival
Davis International Film Festival
All Write Festival
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... more Reviews
"The United States is at its best when it welcomes those who have been displaced by violence and strife, and St. Louis exemplifies this spirit in Day One, creating a space for young refugees to learn and heal. The humanity of the students and teachers shines from the screen and renews our faith in the promise of America."
Jorge Riopedre, President, Casa De Salud
"Amazing...It was eye opening to see the lives of refugees in St. Louis, and learn about how current policies are affecting those lives. It was the first film I have watched where the audience immediately stood up to see how they could help, and hopefully it will inspire action in many communities to come."
Matthew Padgett, Student, Washington University in St. Louis