Creative agency Rebelhouse Group has partnered with television production company Pilgrim Media Group to produce the upcoming documentary film Soufra.
The doc chronicles the story of Mariam Shaar who, with a group of women, launched a successful catering company in the midst of a refugee camp.
Shaar, a daughter of refugees, spent her entire life in Bur El Barajneh, a refugee camp south of Beirut, Lebanon. With little infrastructure and scarce employment opportunities, women typically take on minimal work in factories or as cleaners, but Shaar dreamt of starting her own business. She sought out women from across other cultures in the camp — Syrians, Iraqi, Palestinian and Lebanese — to form Soufra, a catering company.
By stretching the interpretation of Lebanese law, Shaar and her partners are able to quietly expand throughout Beirut. Her goal is to now own and operate a food truck and use the revenues to build a children’s centre in Bur El Barajneh.
The Pilgrim-Rebelhouse partnership was brokered by Pilgrim’s VP of Documentary Films Sarba Das and Rebelhouse president Trevor Hall.
Soufra — Arabic for “feast” — recently wrapped production. The doc is directed by Rebelhouse partner Thomas Morgan and produced by Kathleen Glynn, Rebelhouse Group and Pilgrim Media Group, with Thomas Morgan, Hall and Craig Piligian serving as producers. Academy Award-winning actress Susan Sarandon also serves as an executive producer.
“From the moment we learned of Mariam Shaar and Soufra, we wanted to be part of this project. These extraordinary women created a thriving, joyous enterprise under circumstances that are unimaginable to most people. All of us at Pilgrim are proud to work with Rebelhouse and bring this inspiring story to as wide an audience as possible,” said Piligian, in a statement.