Sponsored Project


Erin Bernhardt, Joseph East
Erin Bernhardt, Din Blankenship

CLARKSTON (working title) is a documentary feature film currently in production that aspires to rediscover the soul of America through the eyes of outcasts. This place-based and character-driven film intimately shares stories about the power of human connection.

After the tragedy in Charlottesville this past August, the filmmakers - with a desire to capture and show the opposite of hate - set out to make a movie about a small Southern town known as "the most diverse square mile in America."

Clarkston, Georgia is home to people from over 150 ethnicities, many of which are New Americans who were forced to flee their home countries to save their lives. These thousands of families and individuals were legally welcomed to the United States as resilient refugees. In some cases, they became refugees because of their commitment to supporting American ideals and their service to our country.

At the same time, countless families living in rural poverty across America - including US Veterans - also feel forgotten and even foreign in their own land. Turning to drugs and white supremacy might feel like a welcomed escape.

CLARKSTON dives deep into how people who were trained to hate one another are instead helping heal one another. This grand experiment we call America is polarized and hurting in much of the country, but it's at work in beautiful ways in Clarkston. This film tests the country's founding thesis by highlighting those who are committed to making liberty available to all Americans - new and forgotten alike. CLARKSTON explores what it truly means to be an American.

The film is being made by an award-winning team alongside local refugees (New Americans) who are interested in filmmaking. CLARKSTON will have a dynamic impact and education campaign wrapped around its audience outreach.

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