Short Film Profile

From on High

A Syrian refugee girl and a European boy combine religious forms to create a functioning secular peace.

Film notes

More people were forced from their homes by conflict last year than any time since World War II. "The relentless civil war in Syria and a surge of South Sudanese fleeing the collapse of peace efforts in their country helped propel the global population of displaced people to a record in 2016, [per] the United Nations refugee agency: 65.6 million — 300,000 higher than in 2015, which had been the highest since World War II.” (N.Y. Times' Rick Gladstone)

However, now when the need is the greatest, ‘first world’ governments in Europe and the United States have become increasingly resistant to accepting these refugees. Shame on us.

My film relies heavily on drone cinematography, to represent the terrors that so many people in Syria have had to endure “from on high”…from the Assad regime and both its allies and its foes who have all ordered strikes from the air, affecting “good” and “bad” Syrians indiscriminately.

After our protagonist Sanaa (the name means “Brilliance” in Arabic; “Art” in Swahili) finds a new life in Europe, she soon learns that not all things “from on high” are to be feared. One day, she looks up to see a rainbow kite in the sky! It’s being flown by Oriol, a European boy. When the kite catches a bad current and ends up crashed against a fence, Sanaa runs to help Oriol rescue his toy. Unable to make the rainbow kite fly again, Oriol takes Sanaa with him to a manual arts school where he knows they have the tools to fix the kite. There, they come up against a group of teachers who speak/understand a variety of European languages but who unfortunately represent the fear and prejudice that have blocked so many Syrians from finding peaceful refuge. Frustrated with the childishness of my own country’s president, I was moved to make a film celebrating the ingenuity of the childlike. Using imagination uninhibited by adult dogma, Sanaa & Oriol combine forms from their respective ancestral religious traditions to create a new kite that brings them joy.
syria refugee crisis




Copyright © 2017 Ron de Cana Productions, Inc.

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Current and upcoming screenings

Mediterranean Festival Corto | 2018
31 Aug – 2 Aug | Diamante, Italy
3 Sep – 21 Sep | Colombia
Religion Today: International Festival of Cinema and Religion
4 Oct – 11 Oct | Trento, Italy
6 Nov – 10 Nov | Yerevan, Armenia

Previous screenings

Festival del Cinema Corto Corrente | 2017
20 Nov – 25 Nov | Fiumincino, Italy
Muestra Internacional de Cortometraje Solidario y Sensibilizacion de Ciudad Real | 2017
20 Nov – 30 Nov | Ciudad Real, Spain
25 Jan – 10 Feb | Seattle, United States
La Lanterna Film Festival | 2018
1 Mar – 17 May | Genova, Italy
29 Mar – 4 Apr | Athens, Greece
16 Apr – 20 Apr | Valladolid, Spain
UNGC International Sustainability Shorts Film Festival | 2018
19 Apr | Greensboro, United States
21 Apr – 27 May | Peru
17 May – 23 May | Buenos Aires, Argentina
23 May – 26 May | St Jean St Nicolas, France
30 May | Venice, Italy
International Festival of Local Televisions
6 Jun – 9 Jun | Košice, Slovakia
Porto7: Oporto International Short Films Festival
13 Jun – 17 Jun | Porto, Portugal
16 Jun – 17 Jun | Toulon, France
18 Jun – 24 Jun | Vienna, Austria
22 Jun – 1 Jul | Yerevan, Armenia
Premio Carpine d'Argento CortiFestival | 2018
29 Jun – 1 Jul | Visciano, Italy
23 Jul – 27 Jul | Verona, Italy
23 Jul – 28 Jul | Bogota, Colombia
28 Jul – 3 Aug | Lama, France
Moita Mostra | 2018
28 Jul – 4 Aug | Moita, Portugal
Festival Internacional de Cine Para Niños | 2018
7 Aug – 12 Aug | Mexico City, Mexico
24 Aug – 25 Aug | Chianciano Terme, Italy
26 Aug – 30 Aug | Campania, Italy
27 Aug – 31 Aug | Izmir, Turkey
4th Invicines: Festival de Cine Social | 2018
1 Sep – 8 Sep | Cordoba, Argentina
2 Sep – 6 Sep | Ferizaj, Kosovo

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Information on this profile is provided by the film owners and/or compiled from available sources | Profile updated 14 Sep 2017