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‘The Language of Laughter’ Highlights a Different Kind of Aid for Refugees

"The personal stories of our two lead characters put a human face on the statistics, and open the door for a broader conversation about a reality much of the world has ignored."

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The Language of Laughter

Logline: Amidst the greatest humanitarian crisis of our time, this is a story about the language—and power—of laughter. In a refugee camp on the Syrian-Jordanian border, this feature documentary explores a unique bond formed between two brave young women.

Elevator Pitch:

This is a character-driven feature documentary about two young women from completely different worlds—Hanadi, a Syrian refugee mother, and Timea, an uninhibited European clowndoctor. One is convinced that civil war has robbed her of the happiness she once had, the other, on a mission to change it all through laughter. Amidst the collateral damage of a Syria’s bloody civil war, the film follows Hanadi and Timea’s journey as their worlds become intertwined.

A reflection on humor and the human spirit, this timely tale takes place throughout Jordan’s Zaatari Camp, alongside the mass migration to Europe and inside Syria.

Production Team:

Reilly Dowd, Director/Producer
Srdjan Stakic, Producer
Juli Vizza, Editor/Co-Producer
Thierry Humeau, DP
Joe Berlinger, Executive Producer

About the Film:

At 25, this journey has taken me to the frontlines of the refugee crisis. I’m making this film because I think our urgent global challenge deserves a new kind of attention.

There are over 65 million displaced people in the world today—more than ever previously recorded. It is the personal stories of our two lead characters that put a human face on the statistics, and open the door for a broader conversation about a reality much of the world has ignored.

As the global debate over refugees intensifies, this human story is more timely—and important—than ever before.

Current Status: Fundraising for post-production.

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