Follow Chris Cotter, an American traveler, as he explores a common migration path through Ethiopia and into Israel, tracking the plight of Eritrean refugees. Chris and his crew visit several refugee camps, including the never-before-documented Afar region. The refugees tell stories of oppression, torture, and survival. Searching for solutions, Chris speaks to various NGOs and experts, including Assistant Secretary of State, Anne Richard. The outlook is bleak, but the spirit of the Eritrean refugees is hard to ignore.
Luckily for me, I was born just outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the United States of America. I spent my childhood as an optimistic, naive kid more interested in playing music than studying geography. Honestly, I didn’t really put much thought into anything or anyone outside of my small bubble. My biggest issue as a child was deciding whether to watch Thundercats or He-Man.
Like most of us born in a truly democratic state, I have taken many of my basic rights and freedoms for granted. It wasn’t until I began traveling outside of the U.S. that I started to understand how vastly different other countries could be. At first, I traveled mostly for the adventure of it, an achievement of some kind, or just out of sheer boredom. I did it because I could. I was hungry to see the world. My world.
It took quite a few trips before the actual world finally came into focus for me. I started to realize that not everyone was as sheltered and spoiled as I was here in the United States. Not every person had the freedom to question authority or to have their vote counted when something needed to be changed. Not every man, woman, or child had a voice.
As it turned out, “my world” ended up including other people who were not born as lucky as I was. I took on this project to tell the stories of people whose cries are falling on deaf ears and not reaching the public eye. These refugees are underdogs born into a severe situation and if things had gone another way, any of us could have been facing similar fates. After visiting the refugee camps and conducting interviews, I now understand that borders may put certain limits on our identity, but they do not need to define the limits of our humanity.
– Chris Cotter
Tailor Made Films is an independent organization dedicated to providing viewers with original films that engage, inform, and inspire. Our lens focuses on the dynamic world of art, culture, environment, and humanitarian issues.
Chris Cotter: Chris owns and operates Tailor Made Media and TribeSound Records where he spends his time producing music and managing film and commercial video projects. He composes produces for many award winning musical artists and is a voting member for the Philadelphia Chapter of the Recording Academy. Chris works closely with many large organizations both in the US and abroad. His experience and ambition has led Chris around the world from the United States, Africa, Europe, Central and South America. When Chris isn’t traveling or found in the editing room you’re likely to find him on stage drumming it up with his band WaveRadio.
Joe Acchione: Joe owns and operates Tailor Made Media and has been writing music and making films since he was a kid. While earning his film degree from Emerson College in Boston, MA he took part in long-term studies of film, literature and music throughout Europe and Los Angeles. He currently lives in West Chester, PA.
Scott Miller: Scott has been writing and directing for film and video since 2009. He graduated in 2011 from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in Film Studies. During his time there he worked on numerous student films that have been featured at various film festivals. He has since been working in Philadelphia on local projects as camera operator and editor while continuously finding time to fine tune his skill on the etch-a-sketch.
Evan R. Schullery: Evan graduated with a B.S. in Cinema and Photography from Ithaca College in 2003. With a concentration in Screenwriting, his writing experience has been mostly fictional up until this project. He interned for the Emmy-winning television show Malcolm in the Middle, assisting writers and helping organize the show’s “bible,” as well as at Martin-Chase Productions, where he wrote script coverage. He has written several screenplays that have performed well in contests and has most recently applied his writing skills to music, under the artist name “Skinny Cool Kid.”
Josh Coyne: Joshua is a nationally aired commercial and music video director who also specializes in high end visual effects, detail oriented editing, and color correction. He earned his BA in cinematography, and soon thereafter learned he also excelled in Directing. His broad work experiences are in every aspect of production. Whether as director, producer, editor, VFX artist or Director of Photography, Josh fully commits to each individual project.