Singapore – 1880’s Global Ambassador and filmmaker Thomas Morgan (based in Singapore) has announced his creative agency and production house Rebelhouse Group is teaming up with Pilgrim Media Group (owned in part by Lionsgate) to produce the film Soufra. Invested in the documentary, which recently wrapped production, are 1880’s founder Marc Nicholson and CEO Luke Jones.
Arabic for “feast,” Soufra chronicles the powerful – and delicious – story of Mariam Shaar who, along with a diverse group of equally driven women, transcended the limitations of life in an impoverished refugee camp to launch a successful catering company.
The daughter of refugees, Mariam has spent her entire life in Burl El Barajneh, a refugee camp just south of Beirut, Lebanon. With its dire lack of infrastructure and scarce employment opportunities, living conditions in the camp are extremely poor. In Burl El Barajneh, women typically work as cleaners or in factories, but Mariam has a bigger dream: starting her own business. Reaching across cultural barriers, she mobilizes a team of Syrian, Iraqi, Palestinian, and Lebanese women – all residents of the refugee camp – and encourages them to take control of their destiny. The result is Soufra, an entirely self-sufficient catering company that, by stretching the interpretation of Lebanese law, Mariam and her partners quietly expand throughout Beirut. Now, Mariam’s goal is to own and operate a Soufra food truck, and to use its revenue to build a children’s center in Burl El Barajneh so the camp’s next generation may have a brighter future.
A deeply personal story that sheds new light on the international refugee crisis, Soufra is a testament to the power of human will to rise above even the most difficult circumstances – and to the power of food to unify and heal even the most fractured and wounded communities. Soufra is hoping to debut at the Toronto International Film Festival 2017, and will make its Asian premiere in Singapore later this year.