Anna Polisuchenko’s passion for journalism and directing is put on hold when she is forced to take refuge in Haifa, Israel after Russia attacks her home in Kyiv, Ukraine. A year later, Anna appears to have adjusted well, but is she hiding something below the surface?

  • Nick Hewes
  • Ben McClary
  • Tusha Pham
  • Libi Zak
  • Anna Polisuchenko
    Key Cast
  • Anhelina Polisuchenko
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    9 minutes 53 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 2, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    434 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
    English, Russian
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - Penn State University
Director Biography - Nick Hewes

Nick Hewes is a 2023 Pennsylvania State University alumnus who earned a degree in film-production and a minor in creative writing. Throughout his time at Penn State he directed the short films Fixation (2021) and Amber’s Cafe (2022).

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Director Statement

Throughout my childhood I spent much of my time alone and isolated. Those feelings of loneliness helped to create a strong passion for storytelling that carries me today. In my films, I aim to tell stories about people whose voices usually go unheard and who have overcome their own feelings of loneliness just like I have.

After I decided to join a documentary film course in Israel, I learned about Ukrainian refugees who moved to Haifa, Israel after Russia invaded their country. This is how I discovered Anna Polisuchenko. I empathize with Ukrainian refugees and their situation, and after hearing Anna’s story, I became attached to how she had to overcome so much adversity with leaving her home behind and starting fresh in a new country. What made Anna interesting to me is that after finally meeting her, she changed my perspective as to how I thought a refugee would be. Anna was not not struggling as much as other refugees in Haifa, and was instead creating a new career for herself after only a year of living in Israel.

After leaving everything behind and moving to Israel, Anna was able to make a living for herself as a freelance journalist. She was able to fight against the loneliness of a foreign country and find a community of other Ukrainians. It was her passion for journalism that inspired her to persevere and build a decent life and community for herself in Israel. And it was my empathy for Anna and her fellow refugees that inspired me to share her story of empowerment with the world.

~ Nick Hewes