Alicia Keys Stars in Short Film About Refugee Crisis

By Perry Stern 7/26/16 |

Alicia Keys stars in short film, Let Me In about the refugee crisis — photo credit: screenshot.

Alicia Keys and her non-profit We Are Here have created a thought-provoking short film, Let Me In, that portrays the world refugee crisis in a dramatic light.  Written and directed by Jon Olinger, the New York-born singer-songwriter also stars in the piece.

“I want us all to imagine if we were the refugees, if we were the ones torn from the arms of our families and loved ones. While some seek to stoke the flames of division and turn us against our fellow neighbors, we’re here to make the case for love and compassion. How would we feel if it were happening to us?” reads a quote from Keys on the film’s web page.

For the film, which premiered June 20 — recognized in more than 100 countries by the UN’s Refugee Agency as World Refugee Day, — Keys partnered with charitable organizations CARE, Oxfam and War Child “to raise awareness and reinvigorate the conversation around the refugee crisis currently affecting 65 million people around the world,” according to a press release issued by War Child Canada.

On the film’s page, another statement reads:  “We Are Here is asking you to stand together with our partners, Oxfam, War Child, & CARE, in support of those fleeing to safety. Together we’ll show that they are not alone, and make sure world leaders know that we won’t stand by while people suffer. Stand together. Stand as one.”

The 11-minute film depicts a family in crisis: Southern California is under bombardment and there’s fighting in the streets. Keys plays a mother of two who has to flee her damaged home for the safety of the US/Mexican border. She becomes separated from her eldest child who makes it to the border, but is confronted there by armed Mexican security forces. It ends with this message: “There are more refugees today than at any point in history. And more than half of them are children. We demand our governments act with love.”

Viewers are invited to visit to learn more and make a donation that will benefit refugees through distributions by the partnering organizations.


Executives from the three charities also commented on the project. Dr. Samantha Nutt, founder of War Child USA and Canada, said: “At a time when 60 million people are displaced in the world, ‎we are grateful to Alicia Keys, who through her We Are Here Movement has demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to those who have been forced to flee their homes. Let Me In helps give a voice to those who have gone unheard for far too long. I encourage everyone to watch and donate.”

David Ray, vice-president of Advocacy for CARE said, “CARE is thrilled to partner with Alicia Keys and the We Are Here Movement to raise awareness of the plight of refugees. We hope this movement will inspire and motivate others to take action and call on their elected leaders to do the same.”

Raymond Offenheiser, president of Oxfam America, said: “Let Me In allows viewers to experience, if only for a few moments, the dangerous journey many risk in pursuit of safer, better lives for their families. We are so grateful to Alicia Keys and We Are Here for lending their voice to the millions of refugees around the world.”

Let Me In also features a new song, “Hallelujah,” that Keys debuted on Saturday Night Live in May and will be on her sixth album, also called We Are Here, to be released later this summer.

Keys has long been involved with philanthropy, since co- founding Keep a Child Alive in 2003, two years after her breakthrough debut album, Songs in A Minor, sold 12 million albums worldwide. Her organization has since raised $50 million to help combat the “physical, social and economic impacts of HIV” on children and their families in India and Africa.

In 2014, she launched We Are Here, “to manifest a world community built on true equality, and to put an end to the injustice of poverty, oppression, and hopelessness” and curate “a coalition of the best organizations, causes and campaigns to provide the public with one-stop shopping to change the world.”

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