We are a nation of immigrants. Unfortunately, the politics of immigration have created a lot of impersonal dialogue. We're working to bridge the gap, to reconnect the faces of real people to this controversial topic through story-telling.

Our documentary film trailer recently reached its funding goal on Kickstarter! Below is some information about the film. If you feel called to help us tell these incredible stories, you can donate in the navigation menu.

 Heval Kelli, a Syrian immigrant, went from refugee to dishwasher to cardiologist. His story is one of many that will be showcased in our feature documentary.

What We've Done

The idea to compile immigration stories in one cohesive series started in early 2016. Elevate Publishing's CEO, Mark Russell, connected with former Democratic House Majority Leader Dick Gephardt, and the relationship ignited a mutual passion to record and share immigrants' life experiences:

"Immigrants are valuable contributors to the US, but their stories are relatively unknown. As a result, their value is unrecognized. We want to elevate their stories so that we can collectively realize how foundational they are to our nation historically and how necessary they are for continued progress."

For over a year, our publishing team collected stories from local restaurant owners to Major League Baseball players and powerhouse CEOs. We drew the attention of Amazon and in October 2016, we released the first Kindle of, what will be, a multi-book series called The American Immigrant. 

Where We're Going

As a publishing company, we are passionate about books; however, we are not so naive to think that a book is the best medium to spread, what we believe to be, an extremely important message. We believe the most valuable way to expose a national audience to our incredible stories is through the creation of a full-length feature documentary. This is a project about people, about our humanity, and we want as many people as possible to participate in its production.

The film, like the books, will celebrate the American legacy of immigration by featuring stories of first-generation Americans. Alongside director Jonathan Cipiti, we will spotlight the stories of a select group of immigrants to lead viewers to a renewed appreciation for the people involved, in hopes of refreshing their pride in this great American tradition.


Documentary Timeline

AN IDEA IS BORN

JANUARY 2016

Elevate Publishing's CEO, Mark Russell, connected with former Democratic House Majority Leader Dick Gephardt, and the relationship ignited a mutual passion to record and share immigrants' life experiences

RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

APRIL 2016

Mark tasks his team at Elevate Publishing to start compiling stories and generating content for, what will become, The American Immigrant Project. Editors work alongside immigrants to gather research for the first of a series of American Immigrant books.

Amazon Releases American Immigrant: The Outsiders (Volume 1)

OCTOBER 2016

Amazon rallies behind Elevate Publishing to support the first release of The American Immigrant book series. The Outsiders (Volume 1) focuses on the people behind the label.

Kickstarter Funded

APRIL 2017

In 30 days, The American Immigrant Project collects $50k, a community-wide effort to collect sufficient funds to produce the trailer for a full-length documentary.

Movie Trailer Production Begins

MAY 2017

Alongside director Jonathan Cipiti, we start the production of a movie trailer to spotlight the stories of a select group of immigrants.

Movie Production Begins

JANUARY 2018

Director Jonathan Cipiti continues with the production of the full-length documentary.

Movie Premiere

OCTOBER 2018

The American Immigrant full-length documentary is released to the public for the first time with a national premiere in New York City.