A documentary by Megan Mylan and Jon Shenk
USE THE FILM TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Ideas for using the film to support:
Darfur, the Lost Boys and Refugees
Fact sheets and background info
Steps for planning your own screening
Frequently asked questions on the film
“Remarkable! This film should be required viewing for all Americans.
For those of us born in the land of plenty, it’s easy to forget that
America remains a nation of struggling immigrants.”
–Allison Benedik, Chicago Tribune
We are so pleased that you’ve taken the time to explore this community action guide. We feel very fortunate to have been able to share the “Lost Boys” story with people around the world and are gratified by the volunteerism and activism that it has sparked. In this guide you can read about ways people across the country have used the film to build support for refugees, Sudan and the “Lost Boys and Girls.”
During its theatrical release, Lost Boys of Sudan gained momentum with strong critical praise and grassroots word of mouth. Countless individuals have volunteered to be mentors, organized fundraisers, lobbied their elected officials, trained care providers and educated their colleagues and neighbors through the “Lost Boys” story. We have put the film’s press attention to work ensuring that coverage goes beyond the filmmaking to bring in broader refugee and human rights issues while providing clear steps for community involvement.
Policymaker screenings have included the State Department’s Population Refugee and Migration division and a Capitol Hill screening with the Congressional Refugee and Human Rights Caucus staffs. Screenings like these have helped us to connect with refugee and human rights networks while providing key decision-makers with first-hand insight into the realities of refugee resettlement. Across the country, we have partnered with refugee agencies to have volunteers available in the lobby providing audiences with ways to learn more and get involved. A series of benefit screenings have given local refugees opportunities to share their stories and raised tens of thousands of dollars for the IRC’s Lost Boys Education Fund and other programs supporting refugees. Each day brings new ideas for community collaborations and stories of viewers motivated to action.
We feel we have only scratched the surface of the potential impact the film can have and feel confident that now that it is accessible on VHS and DVD, it will be an even more powerful organizing tool. Hopefully, you will find ideas in the following pages that inspire you to organize your own event. With your help we can encourage people all across the country to think, talk, and act.
Thank you for your interest and your energy.
Megan Mylan and Jon Shenk
LOST BOYS AND GIRLS
In 2001 the U.S. government resettled nearly 4,000 “Lost Boys of Sudan” in more than 40 different communities all across the U.S. from Fargo to Atlanta; Salt Lake to Boston. Their arrival received a great deal of press attention and struck a chord with the American public. People who have worked for years in refugee resettlement say that no group of refugees has stirred public interest as the "Lost Boys" have. Despite the early attention, many of the youth have struggled to connect with their new communities and to find the educational opportunities that they so desire. By providing an in-depth look at the complexities of starting life in a new country, we hope the film helps build a deeper understanding of what forces refugees to leave their homes, their adjustment to American culture, and of their determination to succeed.
“It's real, that's our story. When I was watching I was thinking that's it, that's what I've been through, now the whole country will understand.”
--Augustino Ting Mayai, Sudanese youth, Salt Lake City