A Syrian doctor attempts to escape her war-ravaged homeland with her young daughter in this Academy Award® shortlisted film.
As a pediatric surgeon in the Syrian city of Aleppo, Amira (Yasmine Al Massri) works relentlessly to save children's lives — so much so that she has neglected her own daughter, Rasha (Massa Daoud). When war strikes close to home, Amira and Rasha find themselves fleeing for safety — forced into a dangerous journey during which they must heal their relationship as they leave their homeland behind forever.
Yasmine Al Massri
Writer / Director
HOW IT ALL STARTED
In 2017, inspired by Syrian teenagers making their own movies in the Azraq refugee camp, the United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR) and producer Brandt Andersen (Lone Survivor, Everest) started the first ever formal film school in Azraq. With the goal to help refugees better express their stories, Andersen and his team, including actress Shay Mitchel (Pretty Little Liars), actor Jason Beghe (Chicago P.D.) and cinematographer Tobias Schliessler (Lone Survivor, Beauty and the Beast) mentored a group of Syrian teenagers in the creation of four short films. The Azraq experience cemented in Andersen a determination to share the human side of the refugee crisis with the outside world.
In 2019, with production support from Radiant Studios and several members of the original Azraq Film school, including Beghe and Schliessler, the short film Refugee, written and directed by Andersen, began shooting. Actress Yasmine Al Massri of Quantico, French star Omar Sy of The Untouchables, and young newcomer Massas Daoud, a Syrian refugee herself, joined the cast.