She Is Syria
She Is Syria is a documentary that follows the journeys of Syrian refugee women and girls who are rebuilding their lives after escaping war.
She Is Syria looks at the refugee crisis from the female perspective. The world often views so much of war through the lens of male politics and violence: images of men behind podiums, men with guns, men leading protests. The film looks at the roles women also play at the forefront of war—leaving their homes in search of better lives, earning an income when male breadwinners are fighting, imprisoned, or killed, and raising their voices in the face of injustice.
Our goal with this film is to show the untold story. Maya Angelou famously stated, “There is no greater agony than a story untold.” We want bring into existence a beautifully crafted visual homage to womanhood and the major roles that women play in times of conflict. She is Syria not only aims to humanize refugee women, it also aims to depict a side to that is not commonly portrayed in Western media. Here are the types of footage we will be interweaving throughout the piece - interviews, video of women’s lives, stills, landscapes and cityscapes surrounding their new homes. The characters’ stories will be featured and be used as voiceover to narrate the scenes. Music & sound design will play a huge role - it’ll be like a character supporting and underscoring the visuals (i.e. Ava Duvernay’s The 13th and Jeff Orlowski’s Chasing Ice). There will inevitably be difficult scenes and sadness to every woman’s story but the film will ultimately be uplifting, showing that resilience is forged through each character’s relationships to their kids, sisters, parents, communities. Ultimately, we want the audience to come away from the experience loving the women and understanding how war has affected everyone.
Shelley Cheung - Director/EP
Shelley Cheung (director/executive producer) is a creative producer who works on broadcast and digital spots for clients like Facebook, Amex, Google, and Samsung. She produced the Viacom x Witness.org campaign, “Witness the Power of Story,” which was recently featured at SXSW 2016 and made to inspire change and dialogue around various social issues. Shelley has a strong passion for creating content that makes a difference in the way we interact with our communities.
Rania Ahmed - Executive Producer
Rania Ahmed (executive producer) is a social activist who has been involved in development work for many years, at non-profits like the Robin Hood Foundation, fighting poverty in New York City, and most recently at EveryoneOn, bridging the digital divide in the United States. A native of Sudan, she's passionate about sharing the personal stories lost in the refugee conflict, particularly the stories of every day resilience of the Syrian women involved. She currently works on partnerships and strategy for She Is Syria.
Sarah Mardini - Producer
Sarah Mardini (producer) is a former Syrian national competitive swimmer and human rights activist. Sarah writes and performs improv theater pieced that spotlight the refugee crisis in Europe. In mid-May, she spoke on a panel at the European Parliament to raise awareness about Syrians with refugee status as part of the European Youth Event (EYE) 2016 in Strasbourg, France.
Mariam Dwedar - Cinematographer
Mariam Dwedar (cinematographer) has been shooting documentary style content for clients like National Geographic, Human Rights Watch, UNICEF, and BET. She travels around the world to document human interest stories and takes a particular interest in exploring women's and girls issues in her visual storytelling. She has been working on content related to Syrian refugee crisis and other migrant crises since 2012.
Jonah Oskow - Editor
Jonah earned his stripes at the boutique NYC editorial shop Red Car and also worked with a large selection of NYC ad agencies, production companies and motion design firms. His work was featured in the One Screen, The Webby’s, Creativity Online. His short film was in the California International Short Film festival and also recently completed the first campaign spot for Giant Meteor on his own, which aired through ABC’s news networks and throughout the web.
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