The Five Million,Trailer, 2 min.

The Five Million, Film (Documentary, in production)


Script and Directing by Derin Isikman; in production since 2017  (thus far self-funded $12,000 )

The Five Million is the story of Syrian refugees about their experiences in Turkey, Europe and USA  and it is the story of local people and support organizations who are trying to help the refugees. It shows, in plain human language and action, how refugees and supporters are trying, succeeding, and failing. It aims to show the humanity of “the other,” so people can lose the suspicion they have of “the other side.” It tries to heal the relationships between refugees and their host countries.

The Five Million is an amazing film that is mostly made. Imagine: plain, direct conversations with refugee parents, grandparents, and children in several camps, and relief workers in several cities. All of them tell their stories, of war, destruction, fear, red tape, and desire to heal. Their stories are heartbreaking and heroic, and everything in between. Above all, they are human. 

Right now, the film is mostly made, but we are seeking investors, so we can finish it and make it possible for you to see it.

I wanted to make The Five Million because I saw that forces of fear and suspicion are overshadowing the goodness of humanity, leading to suspicion, othering, and bigotry. And this cycle feeds on itself, so suspicion increases. I want to interrupt this cycle by making a film that shows the humanity of “each side.” Too often, refuges are seen as a burden, not as possible contributors to their host countries. The Five Million shows the effects of the loss of sympathy and understanding between refugees and host countries. If we won’t heal this relationship, societies will be destabilized more and more.

Most aid projects focus on specific needs, but they do not address the overall impact of the fear and suspicion between refugees and host countries. The Five Million clearly shows the difficulties of Syrian refugees and host communities as an example; fear and suspicion are on the rise globally and, if we don’t interrupt the cycle, societies around the world will lose stability and cohesion.

By contributing to the making of The Five Million, you can help us to bring awareness: by accepting our differences without judgement we can increase harmony in the world. 

DERIN ISIKMAN