September 12, 2017 10:27 AM


Priyanka Chopra says her new movie, Pahuna: The Little Visitors, is more timely than she even anticipated because of the current immigration debate and President Donald Trump’s call to end DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals).

“I had so many non-Indian or non-South Asian people who just stood up and spoke for how important a film like this is right now,” Chopra, who produced the movie, said to Entertainment Weekly, PEOPLE, and InStyle at the Toronto International Film Festival on Friday. “This is a movie which could be placed anywhere, but it talks about extremely topical issues, which is the refugee crisis, which is religious conversation, which is adults, when they take decisions for the kids — what happens to these kids? I didn’t even realize with DACA and everything that’s happening right now that this film just resonated with so much innocence because it gives you the perspective of these kids.”

Compared to a contemporary version of Hansel and Gretel, the film (which debuted at the Toronto film festival this week) focuses on two young “children performing near-miracles in order to survive.”

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Chopra said what really surprised her about the film so far has been the reaction from kids, including one 7-year-old who asked a question at the film’s premiere.

“I had a 7-year-old who got up and said he really, really like the movie. I asked him why. He said, ‘Because it tells you you should not lie,’” she recalled. “It was such an innocent and sweet. Kids are lied to all the time. They’re told we’re going for a vacation and they never see their homes again. That’s how we treat children.”

Watch the video above; more info about Pahuna: The Little Visitors can be found here.

If DACA ends, it could lead to the deportation of 800,000 young immigrants who were previously brought to America by their parents as childen.

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