On Sunday, November 12th, Rebelhouse Group and Pilgrim Media Group presented the North American premiere of the feature documentary Soufra, directed by Thomas Morgan, at the SVA Theatre in New York City, as part of DOC NYC, America’s largest documentary festival. Notable guests at the premiere included executive producer Susan Sarandon, producers Kathleen Glynn, Craig Piligian and Trevor Hall, editor Mohamed El Masterly, as well as Mary-Louise Parker and Padma Lakshmi.
Soufra follows the inspirational story of intrepid social entrepreneur, Mariam Shaar – a refugee who has spent her entire life in the 69-year-old Burl El Barajneh refugee camp south of Beirut, Lebanon. The film follows Mariam and a diverse team of fellow refugee women who call the camp home, as they set out to change their fate by launching a catering company called “Soufra,” and then succeed in expanding its reach beyond the camp with a food truck business. Together, they heal the wounds of war through the unifying power of food while taking their future into their own hands.
Following the screening, a Q & A was held with director Thomas Morgan and executive producer Susan Sarandon which was moderated by artistic director of DOC NYC Thom Powers.
VIP guests then joined executive producer Susan Sarandon for a reception at The Park in New York City to celebrate the launch of The Soufra Cookbook, which shares a compilation of most treasured recipes of the Soufra women. The women of Soufra are full partners in the publication of this book and will share equally in proceeds from its sales, which will contribute to the ongoing development of the camp’s Children’s Center and to building a school.
Additional guests at the reception included Hillary Weldon, Cinnamon Booth, Anderson Hinsch, Peter Thomas Roth, Janna Bullock, Dr. Gina Sam,Bridgette Morphew and James Ginty.