About this project
About AFTER SPRING
We are raising $50,000 to fund a 2-month production trip to Jordan.
Almost a year ago, we read a news article about Mr. Lee and his taekwondo school for the Syrian children at the Zaatari refugee camp.
Mr. Lee is a South Korean humanitarian who has spent the last 14 years living in the Middle East. In July 2013, influenced by his experiences back home in Korea, and the positive teachings of the sport, he decided to open a Taekwondo school within Zaatari. What started as a group of 60 kids, has grown to a school with classes four days a week, and a wait-list hundreds long. We knew this was a story we had to explore.
After months of planning, international Skype calls, and many favors, we gathered a small crew and jumped on a plane to Jordan to meet the man in person.
The FIRST TRIP
What we found was amazing. Along with Lee, we met Mohamad, one of the first peaceful protestors of the Syrian conflict. When they left Syria, his family walked for 4 days, his wife with a child in each arm and one in her belly. He is a now teacher at the taekwondo school and credits the sport for helping his children to cope with their trauma.
We met a woman who fled her home in Damascus, and now lives in one of the more risky districts of the camp. Everyday she dresses up with confidence in her old city clothes, and she has started programs to educate and mentor the young girls. She works with Mr. Lee and was instrumental in beginning the all-girl taekwondo class.
We also witnessed Ibrahim, one of the taekwondo students, play a lead role in the most powerful performance of Shakesepeare’s King Lear that we had ever seen (Out of all the world's media present at the performance, we were the only ones with a do-it-yourself crane!).
In just 3 weeks, we filmed some beautiful footage, thanks to Jason & Frank our wonderful DP’s, and discovered a story much more impressive than anything we could have imagined. We had an incredible first trip, but we need much more time there to finish the documentary.
With your support, we can travel back to Jordan this fall and explore deeper into the stories of Mr. Lee, his students, and their families at the Zaatari taekwondo school. By sharing these stories, we hope to highlight the human faces who are affected by the Syrian conflict, not just the political side that so often becomes the main focus of attention. Our goal is to paint an accurate, multi-dimensional portrait of the effects of the Syrian crisis and tell a story of hope and resilience.
About the SYRIAN REFUGEE CRISIS
Zaatari Refugee Camp
- Built and opened in less than 2 weeks on July 28th 2012
- Currently houses over 101,400 people *These numbers are constantly changing.
- Over half of the camp's population is under the age of 18
- It is currently the 4th largest city in Jordan
- Over 40% of Syria's pre-war population is now displaced.
- That is over 9 MILLION displaced people total.
- Every MINUTE 1 new family becomes displaced inside Syria.
- On March 15th, 2014 the Syrian conflict entered its 4th year.
*Note - if you would like a photo print, there are many images to choose from! We'll send you an assortment and let you pick your favorite
*INDOMITABLE SPIRIT bracelet is leather, 1/4" width. Handmade.
Where will we spend the MONEY
We are so thankful for our first trip but we need to go back to finish the documentary. We are raising funds for a 2 month production trip back to Jordan. The story is constantly evolving and the only way to do it justice is to be there, with them, for an extended amount of time.
Meet the CREW!
JORDAN CREW: Jenn Durrett, Khalid Jabareen, Hala Hindawi, Mission X.
Thanks To: Haley Thompson (Trailer Cut), Laurel Denise (Indomitable Spirit Bracelet), James LeSage, Erica Sergott, Jorge Garza, Jeff Yang, William J. Hopper, John Fisher, A. Joshua Vargas, Janelle Hawkes, Amanda Schat, Janice Hsieh, Miriam Tielmann, Kim Ching, Adnan Kusybi, Rami Helmi, Fadi Odeh, Ian LeSage.
THANK YOU to Katie Herzig for the use of "Lost and Found" in our trailer. Check out her music at www.katieherzig.com
Thank you for visiting our Kickstarter page. We hope you are inspired, or at least intrigued by Mr. Lee’s story as much as we were. If you would like to receive updates, please follow and help us spread the word through social media.
Instagram, Twitter: @afterspringfilm
Website THANK YOU Page
Check our our article in DRAMA FEVER
AUDREY Magazine wrote about the After Spring & the Zaatari TKD school!
iNTERNATIONAL TAEKWON-DO FEDERATION. Thank you for your continued support!
INDIEWIRE PROJECT OF THE DAY! Stay tuned for the Project of the Week Vote!
Thanks to your votes we are INDIEWIRE's PROJECT OF THE WEEK!
Article about After Spring on BUZZFEED!
According to PERSEPHONE MAGAZINE, we're Kickstartable!
Check out this Q&A with producer, Steph Ching on THE SPORTS POST!
And this great article on the ARAB AMERICAN INSTITUTE Blog!
Risks and challenges
Our biggest challenges are definitely location and language barriers. Everyday we are filming less than 8 miles from the Syrian border. Although Jordan is a stable country, and the camp is well run by the UNHCR and the Jordanian police, we are still filming in a very delicate environment. However, after our first trip we are now familiar with all permits, regulations, and precautions necessary for being in this location.
Language is a challenge because Mr. Lee speaks Korean, the Syrians speak Arabic, and we speak English (But we are slowly learning!). Luckily we have Brian Kang, our trustworthy Korean translator who has helped us develop a great relationship with Mr. Lee. Khalid and Hala were our Arabic on-location translators. During the few times they aren’t around, a smile and a wave go a long way!
Given our diverse backgrounds and our experience during our first trip in March, we are confident in our team. Combined we have skills in wilderness survival, expertise working in disaster areas, an Air Force vet, and a former member of the Jordanian police force. We are a team that can adapt and this flexibility will be invaluable throughout this journey.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
We would love the support of the Taewkondo community! Thanks for reaching out.
One thing a school, or group can do is pool together a donation. We have a reward, ON SCREEN SPECIAL THANKS ($800) that would be perfect. Collect donations and fundraise together at your school, create a Kickstarter account with your school's name, and donate on this page. Your TKD school will be credited at the end of the film!
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