new arrivals

In July 2012 the Jordanian government offered its most northern desert land to the escalating number of refugees fleeing sectarian violence in their homeland of Syria.

With close proximity to the Syrian border, Za’atari refugee camp was set up to provide immediate yet temporary refuge for the despairing numbers of wounded and displaced.

Over one year later the camp, originally designed for 40,000 despite being heavily criticised for its inhospitable location, now shelters an unknown number said to exceed 130,000. It’s reported that the population increases externally from an estimated 2000 Syrians entering the camp per day. And internally, by an average 8-15 births.

‘new arrivals’ enters Za’atari camp and, along with a medical interviewer, exposes some of the hardships thrown at three mothers-to-be.

Through personal and probing interviews the film allows a deeper insight into the mistrust, expectations, fears, needs, norms and frustrations pregnant ladies bear both for themselves and their unborn children. Despite methods of family planning being freely available, the camp population continues to grow. And with it, the anxiety of an increasingly unsettled and uncertain Syrian people.

filmed on location in Za’atari Camp, Jordan
june 2013

  • Jessica Van Lachterop
  • Jessica Van Lachterop
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Humanitarian issues, Middle East, Syria, Jordan, Refugees, Za'atari
  • Runtime:
    20 minutes 54 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    September 2, 2013
  • Production Budget:
    2,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
    Arabic, English
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital 1080p
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Al'Kasaba Film Festival
    Palestine, State of
    November 15, 2013
    Al'kasaba Film Festival
Director Biography - Jessica Van Lachterop

UK born, Jessica moved to Luxembourg as an intern to learn how to film and edit live events and short films. With a taste for journalism, Jessica later became camera operator and editor for TV Berlin, Germany, and then as journalist / camera operator / editor for TV SUD, France.

A taste for factual film and documentary there developed, leading her to complete her masters in Documentary Production in London, UK.

Before moving to NYC Jessica directed and produced 'new arrivals' and filmed and edited documentary drama for British Television.

Now in NYC, Jessica and her production company continue to produce content for documentaries and film/edit/manage social media to promote medical advancements in the US.

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Director Statement

The world is not to be ignored. As filmmakers it's imperative we never stop observing; that we share the facts that form the fiction, and balance both if we are to honestly engage our audiences.