American Refugees

In 2013-14, we selected six acclaimed Seattle-area filmmakers to participate in the Film & Family Homelessness Project — a project that aimed to use the power of art for advocacy. The filmmakers, working with SU students, staff, and community partners, created four different animated short films that told the stories of the thousands of Washington families who are homeless or living in poverty. The films premiered at the Seattle International Film Festival on May 19, 2014 and continue to be a valuable tool for homelessness advocacy today.

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The Beast Inside
By Amy Enser and Drew Christie

Told through the power of spoken word rap and illustrated with hand-drawn animations and a muted warm color palette, a teen in a homeless family describes his challenges and celebrates the triumph of his creative self.


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Home for Sale
By Laura Jean Cronin

Imagine seeing glimpses of the family who once lived in the foreclosed home you’re touring and considering to buy. This powerful piece comes from its radio play nature and rich oil paintings that were physically layered to create the 30-plus animated images seen in the film.


Click to watch the filmSuper Dads

By Sihanouk Mariona
Written By Heather Cimmy Ayres

Using a kaleidoscope of real stories to create an overarching storyline, fathers and children share their worries, feelings, challenges and how they overcame being homeless using stop motion animated clay characters.



Click to watch the filmThe Smiths

The Smiths

By Neely Goniodsky

Hand-drawn animation, digital cutouts, and paintings are used to tell this heartwarming story about how a family falls into homelessness, and then is able to move out of it with the help of a compassionate, supportive community.

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