Global Detroit Blog

Inaugural Michigan Refugee Film Festival Celebrates Resilience, Welcoming Week 2023

September 5, 2023

Matt Fry, Communications Director
Global Detroit
Cell: 248-894-1358

Scott Preston, Global Detroit Special Projects Manager
Cell: 517-740-6648


Inaugural Michigan Refugee Film Festival Celebrates Resilience, Welcoming Week 2023

Three Michigan film premieres will be held September 14, 16, and 17 at the Detroit Film Theatre at the DIA and Wendell W. Anderson Jr. Auditorium at CCS.

DETROIT, MI – The Michigan Refugee Film Festival (MRFF) is just around the corner, with a powerful lineup of films ready to captivate and inspire audiences in Detroit. Presented during Welcoming Week 2023, this first-of-a-kind film festival aims to commemorate the indomitable spirit, perseverance, and contributions of refugees while fostering a sense of unity and understanding within the community. The film festival–held September 14, 16 and 17–includes two premieres held at the Detroit Film Theatre at the Detroit Institute of Arts and one premiere at the Wendell W. Anderson Jr. Auditorium at CCS:

MRFF 2023 Screening Lineup:

  1. “Simple as Water”: A touching love story that showcases the unbreakable bonds of family across Syrian communities around the world. Screening at 7 pm on Thursday, September 14 at the Detroit Film Theatre at the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA).

    Director: Megan Mylan
    Run time: 98 minutes// In Arabic and English with English subtitles
  2. “Dounia & the Princess of Aleppo”: A heartwarming tale of a young girl’s escape from Aleppo with the help of the Princess of Aleppo’s magical seeds. Screening at 3 pm on Saturday, September 16 at the Detroit Film Theatre at the DIA.

    Directors: Marya Zarif, André Kadi
    Run time: 72 minutes
  3. “A Fire Within”: Follow the incredible journey of Ethiopian women who escaped torture, only to find that their former interrogator is now living and working in the U.S. Screening at 7 pm on Sunday, September 17 at the Wendell W. Anderson Jr. Auditorium at CCS Detroit.

    Director: Christopher Chambers
    Run time: 82 minutes

SEMIRC, Global Detroit, and the MRFF extend heartfelt gratitude to the event’s generous sponsors, without whom this event would not be possible. Sponsors include the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity Office of Global Michigan, Baobab Fare, Samaritas, Jewish Family Services, the Detroit Institute of Arts, and the College for Creative Studies.

FREE Tickets can be secured via the MRFF Eventbrite page. All members of our diverse community are invited to join in celebrating the resilience and contributions of refugees and immigrants through the universal language of film.

For more information and updates, please visit the MRFF Facebook and Instagram pages.


About the Michigan Refugee Film Festival (MRFF):

The Michigan Refugee Film Festival is a celebration of the strength and resilience of refugees, showcasing their stories and contributions through the art of film. MRFF aims to promote empathy, understanding, and unity within our community while honoring the journeys of those who have sought refuge in Michigan.

About the Southeast Michigan Refugee Collaborative (SEMIRC):

SEMIRC is the state’s largest refugee response collective with a broad range of members including refugee resettlement agencies, government partners and other organizations working to foster vibrant communities in the region.

About Global Detroit:

With a focus on immigrants and global talent, Global Detroit develops and implements inclusive strategies to drive the growth, revitalization and broadly shared prosperity of Detroit and Southeast Michigan. By ensuring immigrants are a vital part of the region’s community and economic development strategies, Global Detroit is building a vibrant city and thriving global region with strong neighborhoods, healthy families, competitive companies, successful small businesses, and a rich and diverse cultural life. Founded in 2010, Global Detroit develops and leads programs centered on global talent, entrepreneurship, and neighborhoods with the aim of demonstrating the potential for large-scale impact. Global Detroit also continues to conduct groundbreaking research, drives policy, and serves as a leading advocate for immigrant inclusion as a strategy to build prosperity for everyone in Southeast Michigan.