DREAMS OF DARAA

In Daraa, Syria, 25-year-old Hanadi dreams of answers. The questions: Where is my husband? How can I get my daughters to safety? Is there someplace to call home? As so many dreams turn to nightmares around her, Hanadi refuses to accept the cards she’s been dealt. Relying on her own wit and bravery, she navigates a harrowing four-year, international, wartime journey alongside her three young daughters. From refugee in Jordan to asylum-seeker in Germany, Hanadi cares far less for the labels she’s given than she does for peace and justice. The answers she finds along the way lead her to testify at the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva about the war crimes of the Assad Regime. This intimate story set amidst an international whirlwind explores the power and determination of one unexpected hero to be heard.

The partly-animated film is a co-production with ITVS, the leading provider of independently produced programs for PBS. It is executive produced by Academy Award nominated and Peabody and Emmy-winning filmmaker Joe Berlinger.

  • Reilly Dowd
    Director
    The Last Ride (short)
  • Juli Vizza, Editor/Producer
    Producer
    Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin, Circles, Xmas Without China, Provocateur
  • Joe Berlinger, Executive Producer
    Producer
    Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, Paradise Lost, Brother's Keeper, Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes
  • Michael Ehrenzweig, Supervising Producer
    Producer
    Always in Season, The Silence of Others
  • Srdjan Stakic, Producer
    Producer
    The Operative, St. Agatha, Warpaint
  • Sally Jo Fifer, Executive Producer (for ITVS)
    Producer
    Independent Lens, P.O.V., American Masters, Bedlam, One Child Nation, Minding the Gap, Abacus: Small Enough to Jail, Tower, Trapped
  • Lois Vossen, Executive Producer (for ITVS)
    Producer
    Independent Lens, Belly of the Beast, Bedlam, Always in Season
  • Emelie Mahdavian
    Editors
    Midnight Traveler, Bitterbrush
  • Juli Vizza
    Editors
    Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin, Circles, Xmas Without China, Provocateur
  • Will Kim
    Animation
    The Hole, The Fall of the House of Usher, Cosmic Debris, River of Gold, Waiting, Dear My Son
  • Gingger Shankar
    Music
    P.O.V., And She Could Be Next, The Lost City of the Monkey God, Independent Lens, Girl, Adopted
  • Joe Beal
    Sound Department
    Call the Midwife, I May Destroy You, Chernobyl, Giri/Haji, The Crown, The Imitation Game
  • Project Type:
    Animation, Documentary, Feature, Television
  • Genres:
    Animation, Documentary, refugee, women's rights
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 1 minute 55 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    September 19, 2021
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    Germany, Jordan, Switzerland, Syrian Arab Republic
  • Language:
    Arabic, English
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    Yes
  • Student Project:
    No
  • Los Angeles Film Awards Best Picture
  • Portland Film Festival Best Documentary

    October 20, 2022
  • Berlin Indie Film Festival Best Documentary
Distribution Information
  • ITVS/PBS-US Broadcast Only
    Distributor
    Country: United States
    Rights: Free TV
Director Biography - Reilly Dowd

Reilly is the director and producer of the upcoming feature documentary film, DREAMS OF DARAA. The film is a co-production with ITVS, the leading provider of independently produced programs for PBS. It is executive produced by Academy Award nominated and Peabody and Emmy-winning filmmaker Joe Berlinger.

In bringing this project to life, Reilly was a fellow in the Studios Program of the Halcyon Arts Lab in Washington, D.C. and the Fledgling Engagement Lab, a highly selective program which supports projects that are focused on issues affecting vulnerable populations that are poised for action. During the one-year lab, she worked alongside a handful of other social issue documentary film teams to design a social impact campaign focused on Syrian women and girls.

Reilly is a graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, where she focused her studies on investigative journalism and international politics. She has worked at SnagFilms (indieWIRE), CNN, ABC News, Al Jazeera America, The Fiscal Times as well as for former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Obama White House Office of Presidential Correspondence.

In 2020, Reilly received an MBA from Oxford University's Said Business School. She was recently named one of Poets&Quants' Best & Brightest MBAs of 2020.

Reilly was 1 of 24 selected for the prestigious Peter Stark Producing Program of USC's School of Cinematic Arts. During her first year, she was awarded the Peter Stark Filmmaker Award for her role as director of a short film, THE LAST RIDE. In May 2021, Reilly received her MFA degree in producing for film, television and new media.

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