Since 2015, at least 16,000 Venezuelans are confirmed to have fled to Trinidad and Tobago. The twin island republic is of one of the most economically viable options for asylum seekers, yet many are unaware of the reality that is to welcome them.
Nearest Neighbours interweaves the stories of four main sets of characters: a journalist; a couple with three young children and their abuela; a woman who is living in a horse stable among other refugees; and a computer engineer turned construction worker and his family.
The film explores how these refugees and asylum-seekers navigate their environments daily and work to move their lives forward amidst many unexpected challenges, including rampant xenophobia and a lack of legal rights due to the absence of local refugee legislation.
Nearest Neighbours screens as part of Dateline Caribbean: Documentary Shorts on Saturday, February 8 at 11:00 am.
Rhonda Chan Soo is a Trinidadian documentary filmmaker. She holds an MA in documentary filmmaking from Wake Forest University and a BSc in Environmental Science from Furman University. She directed Riding Bull Cart which won best local documentary short at the trinidad + tobago film festival in 2015, and Quiet Revolution, which won the jury award at Green Screen, The Environmental Film Festival in Trinidad in 2016. She aims to explore stories of Trinidadian, and of Caribbean identity by extension, examining where we are, where we’ve come from and where we’re headed. Above all, she loves stories of everyday heroes, overturning stereotypes, and participating in bringing marginalized voices to the mainstream.
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