To transform fear surrounding refugees and migrants

Project type: Nonfiction Feature
Project status: Post-production
Director/Producer: Daniel W Smith
Cinematographer/Assistant Director/Editor: Rodolfo Colombara
Cinematographer/Editor/Sound/Translator: Valentina Corrado
Cinematographer/Photographer: Pavlinka Popovska
Production Assistant/Sound/Photographer: Claudia Schmierer
Production Assistant/Translator: Alice Gidone
Website: tariibthedocumentary.com
Facebook: facebook.com/Templehofthedocumentary
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Through intimate first-hand accounts, refugees describe their near-impossible journeys of hope from their African homes to European cities. Alongside, social and other aid workers provide a framework for challenges new immigrants often face as they attempt integration.


Tahriib slips away the mask of anonymity shrouding the 1.8 million refugees who’ve entered Europe since 2014. Through their own words six refugees detail their previous lives, dangerous journeys, and attempts to integrate into Western culture, each unique narrative emphasizes our shared human experience.

The film is structured in a chronologically and geographically linear movement, using both the interviews themselves as well as additional images, maps, and facts detailing the current refugee crisis to provide context. The story moves in a narrative trajectory beginning with the various reasons for the excruciating decision made to leave their home countries, undertake a dangerous journey with no guarantee of survival or success, and begin the daunting task of building a new life in a new culture.

Each interviewee tells a story that takes them from fear and initial hope, through physical, mental, and emotional devastation along the way, ending with trepidation at taking on the challenges of integration, and a renewed sense of hope for the future.

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Meet the Filmmakers

Daniel W Smith — Writer/Director/Producer

Daniel grew up on Long Island, New York, and in Japan. He graduated from George Mason University with an MFA in Poetry and the New York Film Academy with an MFA in Screenwriting and Producing. Daniel has written seven screenplays and two long-form documentary scripts. He has also produced and completed two short award-winning documentary films. After graduating from the College of Journalism, Marquette University, Daniel volunteered for military service. After deploying to Bosnia, Iraq, the Horn of Africa, and Germany, During these deployments, he learned and became alarmed by the challenges ordinary people face in conflict zones. Daniel retired from US
Army Special Forces in 2008. He then worked as a civilian operations planner at U.S. Africa Command studying the various factors which give rise to conflicts within and between countries in that continent. He went on work at a U.S. Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Squadron supporting operations in the Middle East, East, North, and West Africa. Since February 2017 Daniel has focused on creating documentary films about the refugee and migrant situation in Europe.

Rodolfo Colombara — Assistant Director, Camera, Editor, and Digital Information Transfer

Rodolfo (Italy) is a filmmaking instructor and professional video producer. He directs, shoots and edits advertising videos, music videos, and documentaries for large international brands, national foundations, and local companies in Torino, Italy. He and his wife began their company GA. TA audiovisual projects in 2003. It has transformed, matured, focused on its goals and adapted to the times. From the eclectic nature, in search of new projects and challenges GA TA is always attentive to the world of audiovisuals in particular, and expressive forms in general. GA. TA audiovisual projects set a new goal, complex in its simplicity: to go ahead and continue to be transformed by looking for new dimensions, setting themselves not only as professionals but also as an ideal meeting place for individuals, projects and synergies where transforming passion into active and militant creativity.

Valentina Corrado — Assistant Director, Camera, Editor, and Digital Information Transfer

Valentina (Italy) collaborates closely with Rodolfo at GA TA audiovisual as an experienced professional filmmaker. She assists in co-directing, filming, and editing. She also creates advertising, music, and documentary projects, both for international brands, national foundations, and local companies, as well as creative projects in collaboration with independent filmmakers and performance artists.

Pavlinka Popovska — Cinematographer and Still Photographer

Pavlinka (Macedonia) is an award-winning cinematographer and photographer who has a record of achievements in the field of still and moving images. She graduated with an MFA in photography at New York Film Academy in Los Angeles. Pavlina performed a critical role as photographer and cinematographer in several productions. She acted as a lead photographer in the highly acclaimed editorial “Sweet Era,” which was produced at Metropolitan Fashion Week in Los Angeles in 2016, which was published in The LA Fashion Magazine. She was the lead photographer of the editorial “The Travelers” for Obscura Magazine; Inside-Out exhibited as part of the group exhibition in Silver-Lake Art Gallery. In 2014 she directed her first short length movies Eternity and what it means to be a man. She continued as director of photography on the following productions: the prize-winning 50/10 Saul Turteltaub, The Witness, Smallest Gesture Can Change Someone’s Life AKA The Gamble. She performed as lead photographer for Royal Gor Studio for the Brant Shapiro Foundation in 2015.

Simone Gobmeier — Assistant Editor

Simone (Germany) started her promo producing and editing career in her early twenties after she graduated from the “Schule für Rundfunktechnik SRT” (now known as ARD ZDF Media Akademie), where she learned editing, budgeting, directing and shooting. She performed as a promotion producer at the German Pay-TV Channel Premiere (now known as SKY) for ten years, where she produced commercials and short documentaries.

Claudia Schmierer — Camera, Production Assistant, Sound and Still Photography

Claudia (aka Gayatri) (Germany) is a uniquely skilled photographer, focusing on the natural and spiritual elements of the project. Her focus informs her still photography. Although this is her second documentary project her wide international network was essential in establishing initial coordination for the project with activists, artists, and small NGOs.

Alice Gidone — Production Assistant and Translation

Alice (Italy) is a critical collaborator on Tahriib, which is her first documentary experience. She is outstanding in coordinating schedules with both official and unofficial contacts for interviews and travel arrangements in Italy. She also provided the humor, friendly persuasion, and patience to help interviewees feel comfortable and keep all involved in high morale.

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For inquiries, please contact fiscalsponsorship@filmindependent.org.