Chris Temple and Zach Ingrasci

Chris Temple and Zach Ingrasci

Co-Founders of Optimist | Award-Winning Documentary Filmmakers

From living in a Syrian refugee camp to surviving on $1 a day in Guatemala and spending 10 years documenting the journey of an undocumented boy living in New York City, Chris Temple and Zach Ingrasci are award-winning humanitarians, activists, and filmmakers. On-stage, they demystify some of the world’s most complex situations, leaving audiences feeling more connected and empowered to make a difference.

As co-founders of Optimist, Temple and Ingrasci have created more than 15 films and series that have raised $91.5 million for the films’ causes — changing over 275,000 lives. Their films have been released globally by Netflix, Amazon, National Geographic, and The Atlantic.

Temple and Ingrasci have received widespread acclaim as bold storytellers and compassionate leaders of social justice — honoured with the 2016 Muslim Public Affairs Council Annual Media Award, and recognized alongside Bill Gates and Angelina Jolie as two of the top 100 visionary leaders of 2015 by YPO’s Real Leaders Magazine. They have been called upon to share their expertise at TEDx, the United Nations, and the World Humanitarian Summit, and have been featured on CBS This Morning, as well as in major publications including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Variety.

While best known for directing feature documentaries, including Living On One Dollar, Salam Neighbour, and their newest release, Five Years North, their gift for storytelling also extends to the business world. As entrepreneurs, they’ve spoken at World 50 and WPO, and have collaborated with global brands, including Google, to tell their brand stories and expand their philanthropic impact.

Temple and Ingrasci are equal parts inspiring and relatable. The stories they share are guaranteed to generate empathy and to humanize the world’s most complex and divisive issues.


Stories Move People — Commercials Don't

This talk is a must-see for any organization looking to improve how they convey their brand to customers or donors. Chris Temple and Zach Ingrasci are hands-on directors with experience making feature documentaries with Netflix, branded films for Google, and their own viral video series that have been seen over 35 million times across social media.

In this presentation, you’ll learn the fundamentals of storytelling and how they apply to your brand and audience engagement efforts. Whether you’re looking to increase fundraising, support a movement, or improve your bottom line, creatives and administrators alike will learn to harness the power of sharing humanity’s most powerful and basic tool for creating community and cooperation.

This talk is not about advertising strategies — it’s about cutting through the noise by telling your story in an authentic and impactful way.

Living on $1 a Day: Innovation and Inspiration from the Forgotten Billion

Over 1.1 billion people in the world survive on less than $1 a day. This talk will take you beyond this statistic and demonstrate how innovative families are surviving life on the edge.

Join accidental filmmakers Chris Temple and Zach Ingrasci, whose research project living on $1 a day for two months in rural Guatemala led the duo to find an unexpected passion. What began as a moment of curiosity has grown into two award-winning documentaries distributed by Netflix, over $1.5 million raised in support of poverty alleviation, and a clear understanding that the poor are our best partners in ending extreme poverty.

Through engaging videos, personal stories, and research, Temple and Ingrasci will help you build empathy for others around the world, achieve a sense of gratitude for the opportunities at your fingertips, practice curiosity to discover your passion, and equip yourself with the tools you need to create change. This talk will also include videos from their unreleased feature documentary, Five Years North.

Making the Most of your Good Intentions

This dynamic presentation will equip you with the tools needed to create change — whether in your business, non-profit, or day-to-day life.

While many seek to make an impact on the world, we must first learn how. Appropriate for any audience looking to capitalize on their good intentions and turn ideas into action, this presentation will ask the hard questions and leave you with the inspiration and the practical tools to make the most of your charitable efforts.

As Harvard Dean James Ryan says, the most important step before you set out, is to always ask, “how can I help?” By integrating videos from their films, personal storytelling, and key development strategies, Chris Temple and Zach Ingrasci will provide a road map to help you get started, build your impact, and measure your change.

Five Years North: Immigration Today

Chris Temple and Zach Ingrasci provide an inside look into their new, unreleased feature documentary. This presentation integrates clips from the film to provide a never before seen look at US immigration.

With footage spanning 10 years, this talk will bring you into the world of an undocumented child and the ICE (immigration) agent that patrols his neighborhood. It’s personal, timely, and surprising at every turn as it explores fundamental questions about migration in the 21st century: How do we justify our actions when we know they are hurting others? What is the human cost of the American Dream? If we listen to one another, can we heal our divisions?