May 21, 2024
Annapolis, US 72 F

Maryland Hall & community partners present screening & panel discussion of Nobody Wants Us

“Nobody Wants Us” tells the story of three teenagers and their families hoping to make it safely onto American soil after escaping the Nazi invasion of Europe. On Sunday, January 26 at 7 pm, Maryland Hall will feature a screening of the documentary film followed by a panel discussion. The evening is presented in partnership with Action Annapolis, Anne Arundel County Indivisible, Connecting the Dots, Congregation Kneseth Israel, Temple Beth Shalom, Temple Kohl Shalom and WISE.

Directed by PBS Producer/Director Laura Seltzer-Duny, the film explores an extraordinary event in 1940, when 83 exhausted passengers were trapped on a steamship in the port of Hampton Roads, Virginia, on the Chesapeake Bay. They were hoping to be allowed on American soil—where millions of others in distress had safely landed in previous generations. Without the intervention of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, along with a Virginia Maritime Lawyer and a Portuguese Diplomat, these refugees might not have survived, much less gained access to the U.S. Times had changed and America was turning away refugees. Would these families be turned away too? Nobody Wants Us is their story.

Seltzer-Duny says, “My main motivation for making this film was to inspire today’s youth and remind them that we can all make a difference. Big or small, every act of kindness, decency and humanitarianism is important.”

The screening will be followed by a Panel Discussion with:

Joel Rubin, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs in the Obama Administration, and newly appointed as Bernie Sanders’ liaison to the Jewish community, is a leading national security, foreign policy, and congressional expert. ​

Waleska Casiano, an Immigration Attorney born in Puerto Rico practicing in Annapolis, Maryland. She also works as a Pro-Bono Attorney for immigrant families at Centro de Ayuda in Annapolis, MD.

Laura Seltzer-Duny, the documentary filmmaker of Nobody Wants Us & award-winning PBS Producer/Director

Moderated by Victoria Bruce, local Filmmaker, Author & Media Strategist

The screening is part of Maryland Hall’s “Courage & Community” series of programming for the arts organization’s 40th Anniversary season. The film was specially selected in recognition of the 75thAnniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.

Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit or call 410-263-5544.

Films at Maryland Hall are presented with support from the Goldstein-Cunitz Center for Film and New Media at Maryland Hall.

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