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On the run in East Africa, Mx. X. wards off evil with a magic broom. In a refugee camp, a growing LGBTQ+ community weaves rainbow bracelets to wear in a daring act of solidarity and resistance. Armed with a new US passport, Hector returns to Mexico for the first time since his narrow escape from a homophobic assassination attempt. These storylabs, part of the series What We Carry With Us, co-created by filmmaker Sam Ball and LGBTQ+ refugees and descendants, will be featured on June 20, 2021, World Refugee Day, at Frameline 45, San Francisco’s LGBTQ+ International Film Festival.

In 2018, the Creative Work Fund awarded a grant to Sam Ball to collaborate with Jewish Family and Community Services of the East Bay, which manages substantial programs for immigrants and refugees. Through this partnership and working with other Jewish, LGBTQ+, and refugee service organizations, he gathered stories that focused on resonant objects refugees brought with them from their homelands.

Frameline is presenting the world premiere of four of these minidocumentaries alongside its 2021 feature films as follows:

The What We Carry With Us films, which also are supported by the San Francisco Arts Commission, will be live through June 27, then released alongside more microdocumentaries from the series on Frameline’s YouTube channel. Learn more at

Photo credit: Citizen Film