Sponsored Project


Erin Bernhardt
Erin Bernhardt, Din Blankenship

In the wake of personal loss and trauma, three refugees and a former Klansman seek to re-establish their identities in a nation struggling with an identity crisis of its own. CLARKSTON: Mother of Exiles follows the intimate journey of these unlikely companions connected by the most diverse square mile in America - Clarkston, GA.

Across the country and world, there is growing fear, animosity and hatred among people of different political beliefs, races, faiths, and cultures. But in Clarkston, Georgia - home to resettled refugees from across the globe representing over 150 ethnicities and all of the major world religions - we find a community of individuals who welcome the stranger and choose forgiveness over hatred. In Clarkston, wounds are healed and broken lives are rebuilt when service to community outranks service to oneself. Like any place, Clarkston is imperfect; however, in this town, where a former white supremacist and a former refugee of different faiths become friends, we find hope. The stakes are high—will the America of tomorrow resemble Clarkston, or will its wounds continue to grow and its divisions widen? CLARKSTON uses intimate and interwoven character-driven stories to show how this town and those who reflect its spirit can be a beacon of hope for America - the Mother of Exiles.

In addition to making a movie, the CLARKSTON team is committed to workforce development by training and hiring residents (many are refugees themselves) interested in filmmaking, and will equip them for careers in the booming Atlanta film industry. Upon release, CLARKSTON will have a dynamic impact and education campaign based on our hope that the reconciliation on display in Clarkston inspires a greater connection and understanding between all people.

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