Subjects: Human Rights, Middle Eastern Studies, Immigration & Refugees
Seven years. Six million displaced people. The biggest humanitarian emergency of our time. The Syrian refugee crisis remains at the forefront of the global consciousness: as statistics, as photographs, as a bargaining chip in international politics. But inside the camps real people settle in to a life in limbo. Watan (Homeland) explores two of the biggest refugee camps in Jordan - Zaatari and Azraq - along with neighbouring city Jerash, to paint intimate portraits of the men, women and children who have found themselves there. Through observation of daily life, Watan builds a simple yet powerful series of interwoven stories that go beyond the statistics to find the human heart of the refugee crisis.
These are stories of sadness, fear, beauty and surprises: from a young woman raising a family that is not hers, to a seventeen-year-old concreter, an all-women's filmmaking class, a boy who finds meaning through football, and more. Watan seeks to inspire action through connection, empathy and recognition, in a way that allows these people to speak for themselves. It shines a much-needed light on the human stories at the centre of the global debate of immigration and asylum, giving a voice to the Syrian refugees in Jordan.
Awards & Selected Screenings:
2018 Impact Doc Award - Feature Documentary Merit Award Featured as part of Refugee Council of Australia's Refugee Week
James L Brown & Bill Irving
James L Brown ACS and Bill Irving are a creative team based in Australia. James is a prolific and award winning cinematographer/director whose work spans feature films, commercials, music videos and documentaries. He recently shot the acclaimed Colombian feature film MATAR A JESUS. Bill is a writer, director and editor of commercials, music videos and short films, having won international and local awards for his work for Fox Sports Australia. Bill and James' work together includes commercials, short films, and WATAN, their first long-form documentary project.