Field of Vision and The New Yorker Present “The Journey,” a Six-Part Episodic Documentary Shining a Light on the Refugee Crisis as Told from Inside

Brave and Intimate Film to Be Available on Exclusively
for 90 Days

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Co-creators Laura Poitras, AJ Schnack and Charlotte Cook are proud to
launch the next film in Field of Vision, “The Journey,” a
six-part series directed by Matthew Cassel. The multi-part documentary
follows the treacherous, seventeen-hundred-mile migration of a Syrian
refugee who fled the perils of wartime Damascus to build a better life
for his family. It will be published on The New Yorker Web
site, as part of a collaboration with Field of Vision. The total runtime
for the film is 70 min. To watch the first episode, please see this

More than a million people whose lives have been upended by desperation
and violence in Syria have made similar journeys, but most of these
treks take place in obscurity. Aboud Shalhoub was joined by the
filmmaker Matthew Cassel, who documented—and participated in—the
perilous migration in 2015. Cassel’s colleague Simon Safieh stayed in
Damascus with Aboud’s wife, Christine, and his two children. The series
captures Aboud’s long trip to the Netherlands, the family’s attempts to
reunite, and the tide of nationalist sentiment sweeping across northern

A new episode of “The Journey” will be posted on every
day, starting today, through May 28. Members of the press who would like
to watch the entire series in advance of publication should e-mail


Matthew Cassel is an independent
multimedia journalist and filmmaker based in Istanbul. He spent five
years covering the Arab world with the Al Jazeera network. His 2013
award-winning film for AJE, “Identity and Exile: an American’s struggle
with Zionism,” focuses on his personal journey from his hometown Chicago
to the Middle East, where he has lived for the past decade. Cassel is
co-editor of Diaries of an Unfinished Revolution: Voices from Tunis to
Damascus (Penguin, 2013), a collection of essays on the 2011 uprisings
by writers from across the Arab world. Cassel speaks fluent Arabic and
has spent much of the past two years focusing on the plight of refugees
seeking asylum in the EU.



AJ Schnack is a filmmaker and writer known for nonfiction feature work
including Speaking is Difficult (2016), Caucus (2013), Kurt
Cobain About a Son
 (2006) and Gigantic (A Tale of Two
(2003). He is the Founding Director of the Cinema Eye Honors,
an annual international award for nonfiction filmmaking. Schnack won the
Jury Prize for Direction at the 2013 SXSW Film Festival and is an
Independent Spirit Award nominee.

Charlotte Cook is a film curator, writer and producer. She recently
joined the programming team of CPH:DOX. Previously, Cook was the
Director of Programming at Hot Docs, North America’s largest documentary
festival, and prior to that was the head of film programming and
training at the Frontline Club in London, an organization dedicated to
championing independent journalism and freedom of expression. She has
also worked as part of the commissioning team at BBC Storyville and with

Laura Poitras’ most recent film, RISK, just premiered to great acclaim
at the Directors’ Fortnight at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. Her prior
film CITIZENFOUR, won the 2015 Academy Award for best
documentary, as well as awards from BAFTA, Independent Spirit Awards,
and the Director’s Guild of America. Her exhibition ASTRO NOISE recently
completed its run at the Whitney Museum of American Art.


Field of Vision commissions and creates short and episodic films that
use visual journalism to expand how we understand the world. Field of
Vision will work with leading filmmakers to take on developing and
ongoing stories as they unfold.


The New Yorker is a national weekly magazine that offers a
signature mix of reporting and commentary on politics, foreign affairs,
business, technology, popular culture, and the arts, along with humor,
fiction, poetry, and cartoons. The New Yorker takes readers
beyond the weekly magazine every day with groundbreaking reporting,
authoritative analysis, and creative inspiration on and on
mobile and tablet devices.


First Look Media is a new-model media company devoted to supporting
independent voices across all platforms, from investigative journalism
and documentary filmmaking to smart, provocative entertainment. Field of
Vision is the visual journalism unit of First Look Media and presents
short-form documentaries and series through the lenses of top
filmmakers. Since its launch in September 2015, Field of Vision has
commissioned more than twenty-five films, many premiering at festivals
worldwide, including Sundance, New York, SXSW, and Rotterdam.


Media Relations
Charlie Olsky, 212-204-7966
Look Media
Carole Robinson, 917-860-5891