From living in a tent in a Syrian refugee camp to working as radish farmers and surviving on one dollar a day in Guatemala, Chris Temple and Zach Ingrasci are pioneering a new style of documentary film-making, using immersive storytelling to raise awareness and inspire action around pressing global issues. So far, their non-profit organization, Living On One, has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for sustainable poverty alleviation and awareness that directly supports micro-finance, education scholarships, and refugee services around the world. The two young men bring a unique development perspective to their films, having worked for five different micro-finance organizations (combined) including Deloitte Consulting and Global Health Strategies. Below is a description of their new film, Salam Neighbor, and you can watch the exclusive trailer for it here.
In Salam Neighbor, American filmmakers Chris Temple and Zach Ingrasci pitch a tent inside Jordan’s Za’atari refugee camp – just seven miles from the Syrian border – and examine a humanitarian crisis first-hand. According to the team, they are the first filmmakers allowed by the United Nations to register and set up provisional housing inside a refugee camp.
The documentary – which enjoys its world premiere at Washington DC festival AFI Docs later this week – finds the Living on One Dollar filmmakers spending four weeks inside the 85,000-strong Za’atari refugee camp and introducing audiences to a number of refugees working to rebuild their lives.
“Before arriving in Jordan, our main look into the Syrian refugee crisis was through American mainstream media,” said Temple and Ingrasci in a joint directors’ statement. “Its focus on violence, hatred, extremism and war separated us from the human experience of being a refugee. We found ourselves subconsciously associating refugees with the small minority of people committing the violence we saw on TV. In reality these refugees were the ones who had actively chosen peace over war.”
Salam Neighbor is produced by 1001 Media and Living on One. The doc will debut in Washington on June 20.
Manori Ravindran/ Realscreen/June, 2015