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The Migration Playlist provides students with a unique glimpse into the personal realities of refugees and undocumented immigrants around the world. These individuals have been separated from their homes and loved ones, narrowly escaped the horrors of war and violence, encounter discrimination, and often reside in poor living conditions as they await the opportunity to find peace and happiness once again. Despite facing overwhelming adversities, these citizens are determined to do everything in their power to survive and remain optimistic.

Access all of the following films by subscribing to SIMA Classroom.


SIMA Classroom Welcome To Canada


This short film tells the story of Mohammed Alsaleh, a young Syrian refugee granted asylum in Canada after fleeing torture and imprisonment by the Assad regime. While rebuilding his life in Vancouver, he assists newly-arrived Syrian refugee families with resettlement, finding new homes and new beginnings.

Directors: Adam Loften & Mary Fowles
Producer: Emmanuel Vaughan-Lee

2016 | 20 min
Languages: English and Arabic
Subtitles: English


Powerful intimate stories of young refugees who risked their lives crossing the Aegean Sea to Europe, only to get trapped on the Greek Island of Lesvos with no future and closed borders. It was supposed to be only their “transit” stop, but it turned out where they ended.

Director: Mariam El Marakeshy
Producers: Mariam El Marakeshy
2018 | 26 min
Middle East | Europe
Turkey | Europe | MENA
Languages: English, Arabic, Persian
Subtitles: English


Beirut’s Shatila camp was built in 1949 for 3,000 Palestinian refugees, but now hosts up to 40,000 people, including many Syrians displaced by war. Appalling conditions and bleak prospects for the future leave families longing for their lost homes. Three generations of a Palestinian family describe how the camp has evolved into an urban slum. A Syrian father recalls the shelling of his home and the dangers that drove him to flee the country with his four young children.

Directors: Negin Allamehzadeh
Post-Producer: Stina Hamlin, East Coast Digital
8 min | USA, Lebanon


A documentary short about a family divided by the US/Mexico border. Abril is living undocumented in the United States with her 2-year-old son Julian. Julian’s father was stopped by police for a minor traffic incident and was deported back to Mexico. In order to see each other, Uriel, Abril and Julian must cross difficult terrain to reach the border fence where they spend time together through the wall.

Director: Tim Nackashi
Producers: Chelo Alvarez-Stehle & Tim Nackashi

2016 | 6 min
USA & Mexico
Languages: English, Spanish

Immigration Playlist - SIMA Classroom Through The Wall
SIMA Classroom Routes


“ROUTES” recounts the daily realities of refugees upon their arrival in Europe through interviews recorded in the autumn of 2015. The route between the Isle of Lesbos (Greece) and the Macedonian border with Serbia remains one of the most common routes for refugees to travel to northern Europe. Anonymous people share their journey and motivation for traveling to Europe.

Director: Cristian P. Coll
Producer: Es Far Cultural

2016 | 32 min
Greece, Fyrom, Serbia
Languages: English Arabic, Spanish
Subtitles: English


Hany is a 20-year-old Syrian refugee from Homs who lives with his family in a small-tented settlement in the Bekaa Valley, Lebanon. Back in Syria, Hany was at university studying to be a communications engineer, but he was unable to complete his studies. In Lebanon, he doesn’t have the fees to study, a painful realization for a boy who loves to learn. Hany taught himself English by listening to music and watching films.

Director: Zahra Mackaoui

2014 | 3 min
Lebanon | Switzerland


“I’ve been here about two years, and it feels like twenty have passed.” Among a group of children surviving on the streets of Athens is Sayid, a twelve-year old boy, who works all day selling sunflower seeds in the city’s suburban parks. He wants to leave for Northern Europe to go to school and to have a decent job when he grows up. But how fast does a child grow? Sayid is trapped in Greece, a country plagued by a financial crisis, increasing unemployment, rampant xenophobia, and racist violence.

Director: Antonis Tolakis

2013 | 32 min


Fortune’s Gift is an interactive web documentary. It captures 14 positive stories of refugees and ordinary Danish citizens who seek to strengthen our common humanity. In the wake of the refugee crisis that has swept across Europe, and the negative sentiments expressed through our politics and media, “Fortune’s Gift” opens a window into the lives of 14 individuals, who have made a conscious decision to embrace what connects us as human beings rather than what divides us.

Director & Producer: Line Hadsbjerg

2016 | 2 min

SUGGESTED LESSON PLAN: The Writer: Exposition

Here, students will write and present an essay or research paper inspired by the message/social issue of a SIMA film. Writing is an essential skill, and this engagement model will provide students with the opportunity to expand their writing and research skills as they critically evaluate the chosen film. Students are paired into groups to discuss what they’ve watched and analyze the film’s message, and then put together 5 discussion questions. Next, they are tasked with swapping discussion questions with the another group and co-authoring the answers. Finally, students go on to write their papers and present their findings to their peers.