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"IT'S A POWERFUL FILM AND AN IMPORTANT STORY TO BRING TO THE SCREEN"
- Mark Jonathan Harris, Three-Time Academy Award Winning Documentary Filmmaker

"EVLIN IS AMAZING. SEEING THIS THROUGH HER EYES IS SO ENLIGHTENING."
- Debbie Brubaker, Seasoned Producer and "godmother" of SF indie arena

 
 

Life OF EVLIN in a refugee camp
on the turkish-syriaN border

A FILM BY APO W. BAZIDI

 

ALUMNI SCREENING

RAY STARK FAMILY THEATRE, SCA 108
George Lucas Building

USC School of Cinematic Arts Complex
Thursday, August 24, 2017 at 7:00 PM

RESERVE YOUR SEAT ONLINE TODAY:
http://cinema.usc.edu/events/event.cfm?id=19054


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"HOW COULD WE LIVE WITHOUT A HOMELAND?"

EVLIN is an 8-year-old girl who escaped with her family from their village in Kobane, Syria in September 2014, fleeing the terror of the militant Islamic State (ISIS). She now lives in an overcrowded refugee camp on the edge of the Turkish-Syrian border, so close that you could still hear the explosions. Evlin joins the adults who pray and sing on the border, watching the smoke rise above their beloved Kobane.

Resistance is Life, or "Berxwedan Jiyane" in Kurdish, is the motto of the spirit in which the people of Kobane persist through months of devastating attacks. Embodying that spirit, Evlin takes us on a journey that introduces the many different faces of this resistance and their heart-wrenching stories.  Her family tells us about their escape from terror. They are just a few of the thousands who crossed into Turkey to escape from an enemy that is notorious for enslaving women and beheading children. In the face of such an assault on humanity, volunteers from across the globe have come to the Turkish-Syrian border to support the refugees and some even cross into Kobane to join the Kurdish guerrilla forces. The female fighters of Kobane become Evlin's heroes as they bear arms in the name of women’s rights against the tyranny of ISIS. The film documents the many faces of the resistance over the course of 8 months on both sides of the Turkish-Syrian border and provides an inside look at the extraordinary spirit behind the first major victory against ISIS militants.

Resistance is Life, or "Berxwedan Jiyane" in Kurdish, is the motto of the spirit in which the people of Kobane persist through months of devastating attacks. Embodying that spirit, Evlin takes us on a journey that introduces the many different faces of this resistance and their heart-wrenching stories. 

Her family tells us about their escape from terror. They are just a few of the thousands who crossed into Turkey to escape from an enemy that is notorious for enslaving women and beheading children.

In the face of such an assault on humanity, volunteers from across the globe have come to the Turkish-Syrian border to support the refugees and some even cross into Kobane to join the Kurdish guerrilla forces. The female fighters of Kobane become Evlin's heroes as they bear arms in the name of women’s rights against the tyranny of ISIS.

The film documents the many faces of the resistance over the course of 8 months on both sides of the Turkish-Syrian border and provides an inside look at the extraordinary spirit behind the first major victory against ISIS militants.

 
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Apo W. Bazidi
PRODUCER & DIRECTOR

Apo W. Bazidi is an award-winning filmmaker who has been interested in storytelling and writing since he was a child. Apo graduated with a B.A. in Film & Television Production from the University of Southern California in 2011. Apo’s films are primarily concerned with social issues and the importance of global cultural interactions. His works include Homeland, Cab 57, and Evasion. He believes in making a positive change and his motto is “be creative and inspire”.

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GORAN ZANETI
PRODUCER

Goran Zaneti is a writer and contributor to numerous online news publications on topics concerning United States foreign policy and conflicts in the Middle East. He has been featured in publications such as Lebanon's The Daily Star and has been a guest on affiliate stations of NPR and Voice of America. He has made frequent trips to Iraq and Turkey and has worked with non-profit groups that are concerned with humanitarian projects in the region. More recently, he has turned to creative writing and film with the goal of bringing more attention to the most critical issues facing ethnic minorities.

DONATO BRAGAGNOLO
CINEMATOGRAPHER

Donato Bragagnolo is a documentary filmmaker. In 2011, he graduated from the USC School of Cinematic Arts and has been working in the film industry ever since. Donato is passionate about traveling and capturing the beauty and horror of the world as well as documenting the differences and similarities of other cultures. His documentary credits include Storied Streets, about homelessness in America, and Crossing Over, about transgender women seeking political asylum in the US.

Jason Rosenfield, ACE
CONSULTING EDITOR

Jason Rosenfield, ACE, is a member of the American Cinema Editors honorary society and a three-time Emmy Award-winning film editor recognized for his storytelling and stylistic skills in character-driven long-form documentaries, feature films and television series. His documentary credits include the Oscar-nominated Blues Highway, HBO’s Emmy-winning Memphis PD and Teen Killers, Dick Wolf's groundbreaking NBC series Law & Order: Crime & Punishment and CNN’s The Seventies. Jason has collaborated with Oscar-winner Mark Jonathan Harris and Joshua Rofe on Netflix's award-winning Lost for Life and Swift Current, and Harris's Breaking Point: Ukraine’s Fight for Democracy. He is also an Adjunct Professor at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts Masters Program.

Gareth Coker
COMPOSER

Gareth Coker is a composer for film, games, and commercials and has established a foothold in the industry through his writing for a variety of projects. He is noted for creating unique soundscapes in his scores while applying these exotic and unconventional tones in a way that fits the story being told. In 2015, his work helped produce the critically acclaimed soundtrack for Ori and the Blind Forest, which earned several prestigious awards including Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences award, IGN People's Choice, SXSW Gaming Award and more.

CC CHAINEY
PRODUCER OF MARKETING & DISTRIBUTION

CC Chainey thrives on the chaos of cinema and her passion for story. She graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Film Production in May 2011 from the USC School of Cinematic Arts, where she produced a number of award-winning short films. Her narrative feature film debut as a Producer is the independent feature For Here or To Go?, which addresses the cultural zeitgeist of immigrants in Silicon Valley. As the coordinator at CounterPoint Films, she was an instrumental member of the team behind the production and theatrical distribution of the successful spiritual documentary AWAKE: The Life of Yogananda.

Courtnay Robbins Bragagnolo
Photographer

Courtnay Robbins Bragagnolo is a photographer based in Los Angeles. Her primary focus is documenting social and humanitarian issues, working with non-profit organizations to create visually compelling storytelling. Courtnay graduated with a BFA in Photography from the California Institute of the Arts. Her photography has been published both locally and internationally, most notably in TEMA magazine.

 

Returning from War to the Real World – Documentary Filmmaker Apo Bazidi | July 20, 2017 | Hosted by Fabian Chaundy for Cinema5D's On the Go 

Making the decision to pack up your things and go into a war zone certainly takes a certain mindset. Apo shares with us what motivated him to return to Turkey in the first place, and eventually cross the border to war-torn Syria. [Click here to watch...] 

Why So Blu agrees Resistance Is Life is Best Documentary at 20th Annual Dances With Films | June 14, 2017 | Why So Blu? by Jason Coleman

Being an inspiring portrait of hope in the face of trying times and an important history lesson in the battles against ISIS oppression, this doc told through the eyes of unwaveringly positive child Evlin has the movie best of both worlds. [Click here to read full report...] 

Dances With Films Festival 2017 Final Film Reviews | June 13, 2017 | Why So Blu? by Jason Coleman

“Resistance is Life” – Amidst this tale of life during ISIS war attacks through the eyes of young and surprisingly upbeat child Evlin, what’s even more striking about Resistance is Life is how utterly informative it is.  Not that the moments of infectious positivity via the spirited and wise beyond her years featured girl are not a huge highlight. [Click here to read further...] 

Two Documentaries Tell Different Stories About Syrian Refugees | May 27, 2017 | Voice of America by Penelope Poulou

Two new documentaries have shed light on the plight of Syria's refugees and how they are regarded by the world around them. Apo Bazidi's "Resistance is Life" chronicles the siege of Kobane, a primarily Kurdish town in northern Syria that Islamic State militants seized in 2014, forcing many of its inhabitants to flee.  [Click here to read further and watch the video report...]

The Fight of the Kurdish People on the Big Screen In Argentina 
(En Español)
 | 
May 26, 2017 | El Furgón by Nathalia Benavides

Se estrena en Argentina el documental Resistencia es vida del director kurdo Apo W.Bazidi. En esta entrevista, el realizador habla sobre cómo fue la experiencia de filmar a ambos lados de la frontera entre Siria y Turquía, un hecho que lo marcó definitivamente, no sólo en términos profesionales... [Haga clic aquí para leer más...]

Film Forum: Resistance is Life | April 05, 2017 | Hosted by 90.3 WCPN's Lawrence Daniel Caswell

With brilliant immediacy, Resistance is Life reminds us [about Syria as we] ignore it at the peril of global peace and our own humanity. Lawrence Caswell sat down with Resistance is Life Director Apo W. Bazidi, Producer Goran Zaneti, and Syrian activists Naser Danan and Leen Midani..  [Click here to read further and listen...]

Life Shines A Light: Hope In A Refugee Camp On The Turkey-Syria Border | April 03, 2017 | CIFF The Daily by Amy Brown

With media reels constantly highlighting the devastation in the Middle East, it’s hard to picture any signs of peace or progress in these war-torn regions. But Apo W. Bazidi reveals a glimmer of light and cultural collaboration that all begins with an eight-year-old girl.. [Click here to read further]

CIFF41 Meet the Filmmakers with Resistance is Life Director Apo W. Bazidi | April 03, 2017 | Cleveland International Film Festival

CIFF41 sits down with Apo W. Bazidi 

Everyone of us is trying to tell a story for one reason: Because we want to inspire and create. And filmmakers are the illuminators of the future. Every story shapes one other person. [Click here to watch the interview...]
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HELP THE PEOPLE REBUILD THEIR HOMELAND

 

Re-build supports initiatives to help Syrian people reconstruct their lives. In addition to providing basic services regarding protection, food, shelter, health and education, Re-build is initiating innovative projects targeting vulnerable groups within Syria.

Their first international project concerns the municipality of Kobane in Rojava-Syria.

 

 

SHARE THE JOURNEY

Stories like Evlin's have too often gone unheard and unseen. We want to share her story and that of her community and bring awareness to their plight. We’re currently raising funds to cover film festival submission costs and seeking distribution options.

Donate today and get a chance to receive a free movie poster. (See details below.) 

Resistance is Life is fiscally sponsored by From the Heart Productions, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Donations to this film are tax-deductible.


Update 02-April-17: If you live in the United States* and donate today, you have a chance to receive a free movie poster!

  • Donate $30 and receive an 11x17 poster
  • Donate $50 and receive an 11x17 poster signed by our director
  • Donate $100 and receive a 27x40 poster
  • Donate $150 and receive a 27x40 poster signed by our director

After making your donation, send us an email at contact@burnalight.com with your name and mailing address. (Delivery times will depend on your location.)

 

*Those living internationally, please contact us directly for details on how to receive a free poster.