WACO, TX — Deep in the Heart Film Festival kicks off on Friday, September 25th and due to COVID-19 it's going virtual but that is not stopping it from going all out.
Powerful films will be showcased, shedding light on real-life experiences. One film tells the story of a young woman's difficult journey with U.S. Immigration.
"Dream with Me" directed by Jonathan Seaborn follows the journey of Saba, a Ph.D. candidate at Texas Tech University, and also one of more than 800,000 dreamers.
"It's an immigration film that follows a DACA recipient who married a US Citizen while her parents are actively in deportation proceedings," said Jonathan Seaborn.
Her story reflects the same one thousand's of immigrants experience every year.
"In Saba's case because she is a DACA recipient and overstayed her visa it complicated the process and it took them 3 and a half years to get their marriage approved," Seaborn said.
For Saba, it was three and a half years, for other immigrants it can be less or decades. Hope Balfa-Mustakim with Waco Immigrants Alliance says its raw films like "Dream with Me" that educate the community on the real struggles many face.
"Our hope is that when people see this, they will understand more about the immigration process and that it's not simple, it is very expensive and it takes sometimes 5, sometimes 20, 50 years, we see some people getting a green card after they pass away," Hope Mustakim said.
Seaborn says completing this film and having the opportunity to share it with many communities is priceless, regardless if it's in person or virtual like this year's Deep in the Heart Film Festival.
"The team at Deep in the Heart have done a really impressive job at still trying to capture the experience as much as possible," said Seaborn.
An experience that will open the door to many conversations that are being kept alive.
This is the first time the film festival has partnered with the Waco Immigrants Alliance who are also holding a fundraiser this fall to continue working with Central Texas immigrant families.
The festival will take place on two weekends. Friday, September 25th until Sunday the 27th and Friday, October 2nd until Sunday the 4th.