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JP Residents’ Film About Boston Immigrant Stories Showing at Roxbury Festival

A film made by several Jamaica Plain residents that traces the journey of a group of young people who research and perform the stories of seven immigrant community activists will be shown at the Roxbury International Film Festival.

ZUMIC youth perform (Photo by Sue Dorfman)

Open Your Heart traces the journey of a group of youth from the nonprofit ZUMIX, from interviewing 7 immigrant activists from East Boston to performing their stories with professional Latinx actors in a live staged production at Boston City Hall Plaza in 2023.

Open Your Heart: Immigrant Stories from Boston and Beyond, is directed by Jamaica Plain’s Jesse Epstein, who edited it with JP resident Monica Cohen (also a JP resident) were the editors, and JP resident Mindy Fried produced the movie.

“The early stages of this project began with an event that Marie Ghitman (my former JP Porchfest partner) and I produced at Jamaica Pond called Finding Home: Immigrant Stories and Music from Boston and Beyond,” said Fried. “This event was a powerful celebration of the strength, tenacity, and creativity of local immigrants. Over a period of 3 years, this initial project morphed into Open Your Heart, which culminated in the film.”

The short documentary was the result of a collaboration between Hoopla Productions, who created JP Porchfest, and Zumix, an East Boston nonprofit.

The film will be screened as part of a segment featuring local filmmakers, which runs  on June 26 from 6 to 8 pm at Hibernian Hall. Please register here to attend the event.

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