‘Santuario’ Film Documents A Life In Limbo

Apr 4, 2019

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 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,” 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.