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“Roads of Ithriyah” – a full-length movie on how war and dictatorship affect people’s lives

“Roads of Ithriyah” – a full-length movie on how war and dictatorship affect people’s lives

Javier Badillo is an independent filmmaker whose films were featured on a number of festivals including The Cannes International Film Festival and Toronto Indie film Festival. Born in Venezuela, visiting Syria a few times as a child and being brutally affected by the dictatorship in both countries, he decided to make a movie about it. He firmly believes that it was regular citizens who suffered the most during the war. The movie is called “Roads of Ithriyah” which “refers to the small village of Ithriyah in the northwest of Syria, where there are roads leading to all the various factions of the war.” Focusing not on refugees only but on human beings being impacted by the war actions, Javier is telling the world a story about a soldier who lost his memory and can’t remember where he was or whom he was fighting for. As the director says, “Although the main character eventually becomes a refugee, the story is about a human being who forgets his cultural, spiritual and political convictions due to a war related concussion and is left to rediscover himself, isolated from the world’s influence.”

Getting an inspiration from his friend Shayan Bayat (who is also an actor and writer) by talking about politics and human empowerment, Javier went to a small town Alzey in Germany to do his research about Syrian people. The choice of the city was influenced by Javier’s friend who happened to be a Syrian immigrant. Living with a refugee family in Alzey, the filmmaker discovered a lot of people to interview. Since those individuals spoke Arabic or some German only, Javier had to use his friend as an interpreter, yet, despite those difficulties Javier experienced the true hospitality of Syrians – home-cooked meals and place to stay while he was there.

Javier Badillo claims that it’s important to make a full-length movie about Syrian people,”We decided however to go beyond just the refugee dilemma and explore the source of the humans affected, and explore their lives, who they loved, their ambitions, and their lives before tragedy forced them into a journey they did not choose, or want.”

The movie has its own crowdfunding page on Indiegogo – The team has already gathered $5,137 with the goal of $8,000. Those money will support shooting of a teaser and movie itself, which starts on September 9th, 2017 in Lillooet, British Columbia. Moreover, one of the executive producers and First Nations leader Kelly White, made an exclusive star quilt to help raising the money. You can find it and bid online at – Part of the proceeding will be donated to New Hope, an organization which assists refugee claimants and new Canadian immigrants.

Besides that, Surrey604 recently launched its own show “The Local” and featured New Hope with stories of new immigrants settling in Canada. You can find that episode here.

Connecting with Javier:

About The Author

Alie Slabenko

Alie Slabenko is a local writer and poet passionate about human rights. She recently completed the New Media Journalism Program at Simon Fraser University. She also holds a Masters in Tax Crimes from Russia and PDD in Marketing from Douglas College in Vancouver. Alie has volunteered for the YVR airport magazine as a creative contributor and written several travel and lifestyle articles for an online Russian magazine. She is a traveler by heart and has visited Hong Kong, Macau, South Korea, China, and the USA. In her free time Alie likes to paint, take photographs, write poems, and manage her social justice oriented website. Alie is a human rights advocate who seeks to serve people through her journalistic skills focusing on racism, transgender rights, women rights, and human trafficking.


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