2024 FESTIVALApr 10-20, 2024Lansing, MI
  • Sanctuary


2023 / United States / 16 Minutes / John Haley and Julia Szromba

Film Synopsis

Krista Wyatt has lived in the small town of Lebanon, Ohio for her entire life. She spent thirty years as a firefighter and EMT before retiring and running for a position on Lebanon’s City Council. Her understanding of public service— infrastructure, budget, public safety—is ultimately upended by a sudden right-wing push to refocus the council on cultural issues, culminating in a successful effort to ban abortion within city limits.
Sanctuary finds Krista contending with Lebanon’s designation as a Sanctuary City for the Unborn—the first city in Ohio to pass such legislation. Having resigned her position from council in protest, she now spends her time as a volunteer storm spotter, calling in warnings for severe weather in Lebanon and surrounding areas.
While monitoring a storm rolling into town, Krista recounts the story of Lebanon’s anti-abortion ordinance. As she does, a clearer picture of her hometown comes into focus through Krista’s eyes, revealing the tension between personal conviction and a dedication to the places we call home.