Many of you may know that I have been supporting a movie named “For Here or To Go?” that tells the story of why high-skilled immigration laws need to change in this country. The movie is about H1bs, the green card backlog, lack of a startup visa and much more. Some of you have watched the movie with me, some of you have heard me talk about it incessantly. You have seen me interview the movie producer and director, write about it, talk about it, much more.
It is a comedy that does an incredible job of taking this immensely complicated issue and simplifying it through humorous story telling. There isn’t another movie like it on this issue. Those of you who watched it will agree, I am sure.
I have heard the question over and over again, where can I watch the movie? I am pleased to share great news- the movie will be in cinemas on Friday March 31st! The date is to coincide with the H1b lottery- today!
It will be in select theatres around the country. The list of cities can be found at this website. http://forhereortogomovie.com/ and the Facebook page. The trailer is on the website too- http://forhereortogomovie.com/ . The website has a lot of interesting information including testimonials from organizations/people with whom you are likely familiar.
While I have actively supported this movie realizing its importance as an advocacy tool, many renowned venture capitalists, founders, entrepreneurs, academics have also been supporting it. Some names include Brad Feld, renowned VC, Vivek Wadhwa- academic and think tank, the Instagram founder and many many more. Brad Feld donated $25,000 to the movie! Here is his message. I want to give a big shout out to my dear friend and AILA WA member Joel Paget who donated a huge sum to the movie when we took it to the House of Congress in DC, thank you so much, Joel! I am very grateful.
The movie screen writer- Rishi Bhilwadikar is on an H1b himself. With no background in film, he created this amazing movie -treating it like a startup and raising funds as he could. He was able to bring a fabulous cast together including a Bollywood heartthrob (Ali Fazal) and some familiar American renowned actors. Rishi wrote an open letter recently regarding the national theatrical release. NBC covered it this week. Bloomberg covered it this morning!
As immigration lawyers and advocates for reform, we know how complicated all of this is. I think It is important for us to support any advocacy tool that gets the message across because it is too difficult to explain to the lay person. At a time when immigration as a whole is under threat, and H1bs particularly getting negative attention- we need to be the voice of reason. Please consider the movie an advocacy tool to explain to your friends, neighbors and colleagues why immigration reform is necessary.
I will be hosting a Q&A following the 9pm screening of the movie at Lincoln Square, Bellevue, WA. Hope you can join and spread the word!
This is truly an exciting moment- the movie makers have been on this journey for almost 9 years- I have been with them for a couple of those as their Advocacy Consultant. I will be celebrating the end of H1b season with this opening- I hope you can join me!! I hope you will be kind enough to spread the word of the opening within your networks!
And finally, all of you filing H1bs- whether you the lawyer, the employer or the candidate, good luck today!