About

This webseries delves into the inner lives of NYC immigrants struggling with work, friends, romance, dreams and family expectations. Overshadowing their efforts is their often uncertain status – culturally, emotionally, legally. Three Trembling Cities presents a deeper, richer story about the immigrant experience.

The fictional storyline follows two ‘circles’ of characters. Urmi, Ilona, Azin, and Behrouz are part of the first circle. They’re struggling with issues of identity. Where do they belong? What is their “home” country? Do they follow their family’s dreams or their own?

Babacar, Dawit, Abdul, Madha, and Sam are part of the second circle. They’re struggling for survival. How do they make it here, with expensive rents, low-paying, difficult jobs, and very little security to fall back on?

Each episode concludes with interviews with immigrants who’ve gone through similar issues.

MEET OUR CHARACTERS

Urmi (Nandita Chandra), from Simla, India, struggles with her dissertation and her separation from her husband, who recently went back to India.

Babacar (Yacine Djoumbaye), from Dakar, Senegal, works two jobs (washing dishes and delivering wholesale goods) while trying to start his jewelry-making business.

Behrouz (Arash Mokhtar) is an actor who hasn’t seen Tehran since his family left when he was a child. He wants to go back and reconnect with his past.

Azin (Sherz Aletaha) is an attorney and Behrouz’ sister. She’s finding it hard to live up to her parents’ and husband’s expectations and put in the hours at work.

Ilona (Tjasa Ferme), from Hungary, is Urmi’s roommate and best friend.  She’s just out of grad school and disillusioned with New York and America.

Dawit (Peter Goitom), one of Babacar’s roommates and the head waiter at the restaurant he works at, is just happy to be alive but is haunted by his ordeal as a refugee from Eritrea.

Madha (Pascale Piquion) works as a waitress, was born in the US but was raised in Guyana.  She’s living with her cousin Sam, to save money so she can go back to school.

Abdul (Irungu Mutu), Babacar’s other roommate and the sous-chef at the restaurant, is from Kenya.  He’s saving money to go visit his sister and trying to move up in the restaurant world.

Sam (Storm Gunraj), Madha’s cousin and roommate, is an artist and street vendor from Guyana.

The first season consists of 10 episodes, ranging from 6 to 12 minutes in length; the second season is in development.

CROWDFUNDING

Our first season was crowd funded in part by members of New York’s immigrant community. The narratives are based on personal stories and experiences they shared with us over time. Our supporters have come to NYC from across the globe, including:

Albania Iran
Antigua Italy
Brazil Japan
Bulgaria Mexico
China The Philippines
Colombia Russia
Guinea South Korea
India Spain