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‘Santuario’ Film Documents A Life In Limbo

Juana Luz Tobar Ortega has been living in sanctuary in a Greensboro church for two years. A documentary film, "Santuario," follows her experience living in safety but apart from her family.
Juana Luz Tobar Ortega has been living in sanctuary in a Greensboro church for two years. A documentary film, "Santuario," follows her experience living in safety but apart from her family.
Juana Luz Tobar Ortega has been living in sanctuary in a Greensboro church for two years. A documentary film, "Santuario," follows her experience living in safety but apart from her family.
Credit Pilar Timpane
Juana Luz Tobar Ortega has been living in sanctuary in a Greensboro church for two years. A documentary film, "Santuario," follows her experience living in safety but apart from her family.

Juana Luz Tobar Ortega took sanctuary in a Greensboro church two years ago to avoid deportation back to Guatemala. She and her family hoped taking refuge there would be a short-term step. A documentary film captured her early weeks spent living in the church and stayed with her as the weeks turned to months. The film shows Juana as she tries to keep busy and stay positive, all the while showing the pain and sadness she and her family feel at living apart. 

Host Frank Stasio talks with co-directors Christine Delp and Pilar Timpane about their film,'Santuario.' He also talks with Lesvi Molina, the daughter of Juana Luz Tobar Ortega who is the subject of the film.

Host Frank Stasio talks with co-directors Christine Delp and Pilar Timpane about their film,“Santuario,” and how they hope the film can be used as an advocacy tool for the growing sanctuary movement. He also talks with Ortega’s daughter Lesvi Molina about the experience of living in sanctuary and having a documentary made about their situation.

“Santuario” will be screened as part of the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival on Friday, April 5 at 4:20 p.m. at the Durham Convention Center and at the Full Frame Theater at the American Tobacco Campus at 8 p.m. It will also be screened as part of the RiverRun International Film Festival in Winston-Salem on April 7 and April 12.  

Copyright 2019 North Carolina Public Radio

Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.
Jennifer Brookland is a temporary producer for The State of Things.