High Chaparral

A theme park celebrating America’s mythic Wild West in wintery Sweden becomes a welcoming home for refugees fleeing the Syrian civil war.

One of the last places you might expect to find an American-style Wild West theme park is in the middle of a Swedish forest, yet High Chaparral and its second life as a refugee camp feels strangely appropriate. With so much immigration in a short amount of time, Sweden has had a lot of logistics to work out — like where to put them all. When asked about his decision to allow his theme park to become a camp while closed for the winter, Emil Erlandsson said that he knew his grandfather would’ve done the same. “He built this place with the philosophy of the American settlers.” While many refugees take shelter in tents and athletic stadiums, this bizarre and unexpected American West setting in the middle of a Swedish forest in the middle of winter has become one of the better refugee camps in Sweden. And for 500 refugees, one of the most unique camps in the world, and a safe place far away from home.

WINNER: Palm Springs International, Audience Award WINNER: Best Director, David Freid, Global Impact Film Festival WINNER: Van Guard Award, SF Shorts Fest WINNER: Best Documentary Short Film, Maui Film Festival WINNER: Jury Award: Non-Fiction, 24fps International Short Film Festival, WINNER: Telly Award, WINNER: SPECIAL JURY COMMENDATION, Port Townsend Film Festival. 2017 Webby Award Honoree.

OFFICIAL SELECTION: DOC NYC, Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival, New Orleans Film Festival, Savannah Film Festival, St. Louis Film Festival, Boulder International Film Festival, Tokyo Lift-Off Film Festival, Door Kinetic Arts Festival, Santa Barbara International Film Festival, Topanga Film Festival, Social Impact Media Awards, Florida International Film Festival, Ashland Independent Film Festival, Minneapolis Film Festival, St. Paul International Film Festival, Marfa Film Festival, Walla Walla Movie Crush, Port Townsend Film Festival, Mendocino Film Festival