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.