Kickstarter campaign seeks to fund three short documentary films that explore the challenges & successes of three refugees trying to survive and restart their lives in Europe.
About This Kickstarter Project
The primary aim of this campaign is to fund three mini-documentary films (each 10-15 minutes in length) exploring the lives of three refugees from the Middle East who seek to succeed and adapt to their new lives in Europe.
It's all been told already--the war, the horrible crimes against humanity, and the refugee crisis that now engulfs Europe. But where are the stories of those who are striving to succeed and adapt and rebuild their lives from scratch?
The Three Films
1) The first film in French is about Ramman, a Syrian refugee, who now lives in Bordeaux, France. Ramman lived the Syrian Civil War in its purest form. After escaping Aleppo onto Kobani and finally making it to Turkey by himself, it wasn't long before in 2014 that he was able to travel to Paris to reunite with his family. Ever since Ramman has been quite busy. He moved to Lyon in southern France, waking up every day trying to learn French and get accepted into a university to study architecture. "Maybe one day I will be able to return to Syria and rebuild my country," he says.
2) The second film in Arabic is about Hakim, an Iraqi gay belly dancer whose family tried to murder him when they found out about his sexuality. He escaped Iraq onto Turkey and went on a boat to Chios, a Greek island not far in the Mediterranean. He was recently granted refugee status and moved to Athens, where he hopes to start rebuilding his new life with is boyfriend. Due to the sensitive nature of his story and for his safety, Hakim has preferred the use of a pseudonym instead of his real name and has opted on not showing his face. But he has been more than willing to tell us his story--and show us some dance moves!
3) The third film in English is about Saeed, a refugee from Iran who is an aspiring singer. After being imprisoned many times over the years for playing and singing the music he loved, he decided to escape Iran to find a place where he can be free to pursue his talent and his lyrics. Saeed will tell us about life as a singer and his daily struggle to survive in Greece. (His voice is incredibly beautiful).
The animation in the film "Syrie, Je T'aime" were done by Alcides Urrutia, a Venezuelan animator. The animated elements in the first film help tell the story of Ramman as a child living in Syria as a Kurd.
The director and the animator worked closely together to help create a style that suited the story of Ramman. If this project is funded successfully, Juan David hopes to finish all of this three films with this animator.
What Happens Afterwards?
Once finalized, these films will not only be uploaded on Vimeo, but they will be sent to documentary film festivals in and outside of the U.S. They will also be shown by organizations such as the International Organization for Migration, among other refugee aid bodies who will share and disseminate within their social media networks. If fully funded, these films will also help me kickstart other projects I have in mind--such as a multimedia poetry book about the refugee crisis, which I am currently working on.
Juan David Romero (http://www.juandavid.org/about-juan-david/) was born in Colombia and immigrated to the U.S. He graduated from the University of Central Florida with a B.A. in English Literature and a minor in Film. He spent the last five years interning for different newspapers and magazines. In 2016 he worked as communications officer and multimedia video producer at the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington D.C. In 2017 he decided to move to France and travel across Europe to experience first hand the refugee crisis. Eventually he moved to the island of Chios in Greece to work as a volunteer at the Souda Refugee Camp.
Please contact Juan David via email for an interview and/or questions about his Kickstarter campaign.