Private Project


A young Syrian sister and brother, separated during the civil war, have a chance to be reunited years later through the power of poetry, persistence and friendship.

  • Amalia Williamson
    Northern Rescue (actress)
  • Matt Long
  • Catrina Dygert
  • Paul Daniel Torres
  • Cameron Thorpe
    Do Turtles Swim in Maple Syrup (Producer)
  • Donovan Stanley
  • Katie Leaman
  • Logan Wagner
    Do Turtles Swim in Maple Syrup (Producer)
  • Shadia Shunnara
    Key Cast
  • Alex Mousavi
    Key Cast
    "Harry McFerrin"
  • Faly Mevamanana
    Key Cast
  • Karie Richards
    Key Cast
    "Harry's Mom"
  • Victoria Murdoch
    Key Cast
  • Alexandre Neves
    Key Cast
  • Michael Kennedy
    Producing Partner -- Executive Producer
  • Philip Lewis
    Producing Partner -- Executive Producer
    Petra, Painting My Miracle, Advice
  • Lisa Stockley
    Producing Partner -- Executive Producer
  • David Barlow
    Producing Partner -- Executive Producer
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Runtime:
    20 minutes 29 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    March 12, 2020
  • Production Budget:
    11,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    Canada, United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital, 35
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - Georgia State University
  • Rome International Film Festival
    Rome, GA
    United States
    November 2, 2019
    Georgia Premiere
  • Oakville Film Festival
    Oakville, ONT
    June 29, 2020
  • Morehouse Human Rights Film Festival
    Atlanta, GA
    United States
    September 20, 2020
  • Kosice International Film Festival
    July 20, 2021
    Winner, Hot Favourite!
  • Prague International Indie Film Festival
    Czech Republic
    April 20, 2021
    Winner, Best Actor
  • Bucharest International Film Festival
    April 23, 2021
  • Phoenix Shorts Festival
    United States
    August 17, 2021
  • Yorkton Film Festival
    October 29, 2021
Director Biography - Amalia Williamson, Matt Long

Matt Long:

Recently graduated from Georgia State University, Matt Long is coming into the world with classes behind him and a long road ahead. His short film “Atop a Deck” competed at Terminus Conference and Festival and premiered on Virgin America’s In-Flight Entertainment. While making films is his passion, his heart comes from amazing stories, both hearing and visualizing them. Long Road Pictures, a production company co-owned between him and his brother, Matt hopes to make an impact in the industry in the years to come.

Amalia Williamson:

Amalia has been immersed in the world of filmmaking for over a decade now. Her career began at age 12, in the acting medium, which led to an interest in screenwriting, and eventually directing. Amalia is currently represented by Ambition Talent Agency for acting, and has just graduated from the Bachelor of Film and Television program at Sheridan College. Amalia has written and directed five short films and one documentary in her short time at Sheridan, and is constantly working on ideas and concepts for future projects. Her strengths in directing come from experience in front of the camera, and a passion to tell stories about real people with real problems. Amalia’s inspiration comes from the works of filmmakers like Sofia Coppola, Sean Baker, and Baz Luhrmann.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

In a unique international academic endeavour, representatives from Georgia State University and Clayton State University in Atlanta, Sheridan College in Oakville and Seneca College in Toronto agreed to have their students create a short dramatic production to be shot in the winter of 2019 in both Georgia and Ontario. Student writers Catrina Dygert from Georgia State University and Paul Daniel Torres from Sheridan College developed the following scenario.

In Toronto, HARRY MCFERRIN (15) wraps up a classroom presentation of his family tree, on which everyone is clearly Irish-Canadian except Harry. When his classmate, Lana, awkwardly questions this, Harry explains that he was adopted but, as far as he’s concerned, he’s Canadian and that’s that. Later, Lana confronts Harry; he looks Middle-Eastern, like her - doesn’t he want to know about his background? Harry shares what he knows: after his family was killed in the war in Syria, he and other orphans were evacuated to Turkey. He remembers the shelling and traumatic fragments of the trip through the desert, but just talking about it aggravates Harry’s anxiety. Childhood nightmares return and he can’t stop hearing the noises of war.

In Clarkston, Georgia, 21-year-old HANNAN AL-HASHIM still struggles with the feelings of loss and insecurity she's experienced since fleeing war-torn Syria eight years ago and growing up as a refugee in America. Smugglers split up the family during the flight to the Turkish border and her younger brother and uncle were left behind and reportedly died. Hannan cannot accept that her brother is dead and gives voice to her feelings by writing poetry. A friend videos one of her open-mic performances and it garners attention on the internet. When Hannan is invited to attend a refugee arts festival in Toronto, she sees it as an opportunity to publicize her story and perhaps learn more about the fate of her brother. However, her parents aren’t about to allow Hannah to travel solo to Toronto and they don’t want to encourage her preoccupation with Hassan. Despite her parents’ prohibition, Hannan flies to Toronto.

Lana invites Harry to the Refugee Arts Festival. Harry demurs; he’s not good with crowds or noise. But then he reconsiders – maybe going to hear people like him will at least help him feel he’s not alone. Inside, Harry hears a young woman on stage describe her story and say: “I am here” in Arabic - the last words Harry heard from his sister when they parted. He pushes through the crowd and desperately searches out Hannan backstage where they experience a miraculous and emotional reunion.

This rough cut's colour and sound correction are in progress and all will be complete before November 2019.