We Became Fragments is a short documentary that follows a displaced Syrian teenager named Ibraheem Sarhan coming of age in Winnipeg, Canada.
After losing his mother and four siblings in a bombing that left him injured, Ibraheem and his father make a new life despite the heartbreak of leaving their home behind. The film follows Ibraheem through his first week of high school in Winnipeg.
It's a story about loss, resilience, and one young man’s identity as he adapts to a new country while his home is at war.
WHY TELL THIS STORY?
Ibraheem is one of over 2.5 million displaced Syrian children assimilating into foreign cultures due to the ongoing Syrian conflict.
This film details an experience often overlooked: refugees’ physical safety in a new country does not exempt the heartache of losing home.
We hope that Ibraheem’s story will spark a conversation about how we can support refugee kids -- by not only affording them physical safety, but also by supporting their emotional safety in new countries. Ibraheem, like all refugees, is faced with a question his Canadian peers have never been forced to consider: How does he find his identity when his family and home have been erased?
TELLING IBRAHEEM’S STORY IN HIS OWN WORDS
When he arrived in Canada, Ibraheem began writing down his experience of the war. He says he wanted to write it down because he was scared he would forget his family and his home.
Ibraheem’s writing is an important part of the film, serving as the narration for his story and allowing us to tell his story from his perspective. We plan to work with Ibraheem to publish his writing after the film’s release. We hope his words will inspire other young refugees to write down their stories.
WHAT IS THIS MONEY FOR?
We recently returned from an 11-day shoot in Winnipeg. We gathered lots of footage, and we need help to shape that footage into a film. We’re putting together a talented team and are committed to paying fair wages to our collaborators. The money we raise will go towards:
Bringing on a post-production team. We're excited to work with an amazing editor, Iva Radivojevic, who has crafted dozens of incredible documentaries. Working with a professional editor will dramatically increase the impact of the story.
Post-production is costly but with your help, we'll be able to make the film the best it can be. These cost include:
- Editor & Assistant Editors
- Sound designer & Sound Mix
- Composer for an original score
- Translating many hours of footage in Arabic into English
- Hard drives for all of our footage
- Creating DCPs, DVDs, and promotional material
- Director/producer stipends
- We're committed to transparency in our funding, and will let our community know if new or unanticipated expenses come up along the way.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
We’re so excited to spread the word about this film through Kickstarter, and really glad you can become part of our film family in the process. You can help by donating what you can to our campaign, and then spreading the word to your friends, family, and social networks.
Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing platform, so our film won’t receive ANY funding if we don’t meet our goal.
So we’re counting on you to help us get the word out!
Please donate, follow us on social media, and encourage your community to come visit our page as well. Thank you so much for helping us bring this film into the world.
WE BECAME FRAGMENTS' POTENTIAL IMPACT
Today, we're hoping you'll donate to our project so we can finish the film.
Once complete, we believe the film has the potential to touch viewers around the world, but also educate students in the United States and Canada about the refugee experience. In collaboration with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting and their educational program, our team is committed to extending the impact of the film through direct engagements in schools, public programs, and through the development of free online lessons.
WHO WE ARE
We met while earning our master’s degrees at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. In May 2016, we traveled as a crew to Amman, Jordan to report a story on mental health care access for Syrian refugees. That’s where we met Ibraheem.
We were able to continue filming Ibraheem’s story thanks to winning a pitch competition during the Tribeca Film Festival hosted by the New York Times Op-Docs, Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, and the Tribeca Film Institute.
Thanks to a production grant from the Pulitzer Center, we were able to travel to Winnipeg for ten days to film with Ibraheem.
ABOUT THE TEAM
Luisa Conlon (Co-Director) is a documentary filmmaker and cinematographer based in Los Angeles. She recently completed her master's in journalism at UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism. Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, PBS NewsHour, NPR, StoryCorps, the San Francisco Chronicle.
Her short documentary Leaving Iraq for a Life in America (co-directed with Hanna Miller and Lacy Jane Roberts) was featured in THE ATLANTIC SELECTS, a curated series for The Atlantic Magazine. Luisa’s work has been supported by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the Filmmaker Fund and Canon. She is a recipient of the Jerry Jensen Overall Graduate Scholarship Award from the NATAS NorCal Branch, the 2016 Robert Whittington Award for Exceptional Reporting from UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism, and a Mark of Excellence Award from the Society of Professional Journalists, and a member of the Brooklyn Filmmakers Collective.
Lacy Jane Roberts (Co-Director) got her first taste of storytelling back in 2009 when she started a short-lived podcast called the Ladies Village Improvement Society. She spends most of her time as an audio producer, and she's currently developing new podcasts for Al Jazeera’s new audio network. She has a master's degree in journalism from UC Berkeley, and her work has been seen and heard on PBS Newshour, The Atlantic, Here and Now, and NPR affiliates around the country. You can also catch her teaching podcasting classes, stewing things, and wandering the landscapes of her home state Montana.
Hanna Miller (Co-Director) is a journalist and documentary filmmaker from Mississippi. Her interests are rural America, the immigrant experience, and what it means to have a home. After a Fulbright year in Russia, Hanna had a stint in TV Production at Mississippi Public Broadcasting that led her to earn a master's degree at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. Her pieces can be seen in The Atlantic, PBS NewsHour, and The Independent U.K. Currently, Hanna is working on two short documentaries: one about a Syrian refugee boy in Canada, and another about an anti-immigration, pro-Trump Latina business owner in Magnolia, Mississippi.
Iva Radivojevic (Editor) is a filmmaker based in Brooklyn, NY. She spent her early years in Yugoslavia and Cyprus before settling in NYC. Her films explore the theme of belonging and displacement (experimenting with the refusal of the indexical, or the attachment to representation). Iva’s films have screened at numerous film festivals including the New York Film Festival, SXSW, Rotterdam IFF, Human Rights Watch, HotDocs, Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), and were broadcast on PBS, Documentary Channel as well as the New York Times Op-Docs. She is the recipient of the 2015 Guggenheim Fellowship, 2012 Princess Grace Special Project Award, 2011 Princess Grace Film Fellowship and was named one of 25 New Faces of Independent Film by Filmmaker Magazine. Her debut feature length documentary “Evaporating Borders” has received numerous awards worldwide, was nominated for an International Documentary Association (IDA) Award, a Cinema Eye Honors Spotlight Award and received One World Media Award for Refugee Reporting. Her short film Notes From The Borderwas commissioned for the launch of Field of Vision, a new documentary unit founded by Laura Poitras, AJ Schnack and Charlotte Cook.
Sawsan Morrar (Associate Producer) is a multimedia journalist at UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. She is a graduate of UC Davis, where she received a BA in International Relations and minors in Communication and Middle East South Asia Studies. She was an associate producer at Capital Public Radio, Sacramento’s NPR affiliate news station. Sawsan currently freelances for various publications in California and reports on issues ranging from the Bay Area's gentrification to legislative hearings at the state capitol. Sawsan is a White House Correspondents’ Association Scholar, Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting grantee, and an Ambassador Christopher Stevens Scholar.
The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting
The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting is an innovative award-winning non-profit journalism organization dedicated to supporting in-depth engagement with underreported global affairs through our sponsorship of quality international journalism across all media platforms and a unique program of outreach and education to schools and universities.
Risks and challenges
With every film, the edit process can be challenging and time-consuming. We're confident that our talented post-production team will help us overcome this challenge, and your support will be an integral part of that.
Reporting stories of trauma is always a challenge, and requires a lot of care. With your support, we’ll be able to get feedback from activists, educators, and policy experts who will make sure we get the story right.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (35 days)