"The Other Side of the Sea (海的另一端)," an 18-minute documentary short film by Taiwanese filmmaker Pan Hsuan-yu (潘宣羽), which highlights the experiences of Ukrainian refugees and immigrants living in New York, is scheduled to be showcased at the Izmir International Refugee Film Festival in Turkey from April 24 to 30.
Following the invasion of Ukraine by Russia in February last year, Pan started documenting the lives of Ukrainian immigrants and refugees. Within six months, she completed the filming of "The Other Side of the Sea." This documentary short film was previously screened at the Stockholm Design Week from Feb. 6 to 12 in Sweden.
The documentary features Alex Pryrodny, one of the leading figures in the film, who is anxious about the ongoing war in his hometown. In an interview with the Central News Agency (CNA), Pan shared that, being an immigrant herself, she felt a strong connection with the Ukrainian people.
In addition to showcasing the struggles of Ukrainian immigrants and refugees in New York, the documentary delves into the themes of national identity and the pursuit of values. The film captures the weekly street demonstrations in New York by Ukrainian people who march to raise awareness and remind the public of the ongoing war in Ukraine.
Born in Taichung City, Pan pursued film studies as an international student in the US and later joined a community television station in New York in 2011. In 2016, she shifted her focus to documentary filmmaking, with a particular interest in showcasing the experiences of immigrants, refugees, and artists. Another eight-minute documentary filmed by Pan, “My Mother’s Table,” was also an official selection of the Izmir International Refugee Film Festival in 2022.
(Photo courtesy of Pan Hsuan-yu)