The story focuses on the European and Middle Eastern refugee crisis which has gripped the world's attention following the Arab Spring movement, filming at 27 locations in 7 countries spanning over two years. The feature documentary film is called "SMUGGLERS and REFUGEES - A Doctors Story."
While investigating the dark side of the refugee crisis there are medical cases that Dr. Rajeev handles with empathy and effectively with limited available resources. Smugglers are frequently labelled as ruthless, however after interviewing hundreds of refugees along the way we learned that many refugees refer to smugglers as Gods. Smugglers help refugees escape their home countries with political and social unrest in search of a better life in a foreign land. This gives them a second chance at life even if it sometimes means living in deplorable conditions in their new surroundings. Under risky conditions, we interviewed five smugglers in secret locations on their own terms. We listened to their side of the story on how some of them genuinely want to assist refugees in the community and save lives.
The film views them as anti heroes and in the 90 minute film, we will shed light on this issue.
SMUGGLERS and REFUGEES – a Doctor's Story is dedicated to all the journalists who've risked and lost their lives to uncover the truth behind this turbulent crisis.
Dr. Rajeev Fernando is an Infectious Diseases Doctor based in New York. He's been voted in as amongst Castle Connollys best Infectious Diseases Doctors in New York for the past five years. During filming Smugglers and Refugees he started a charity named after his parents, CHIRAJ. The charity provides refugee education for Syrian and the Rohingya refugees, works with the Rape crisis unit in South Africa #metoo and supports Zika virus babies and mothers in Brazil. Dr. Rajeev supports these groups by personally visiting them and provides funding on his own with the hope that that others will follow his lead.
Dr. Rajeev has travelled the world including serving with Doctors Without Borders in Darfur, Sudan. In addition to this, he serves on a panel in New York that assists in devising protocols for the ongoing devastating opioid crisis in America by treating patients through withdrawal and counciling patients to prevent relapses. His true passion is mentoring medical students and residents towards building the physician of tomorrow. He was nominated by HSBC bank for their Heroes of the Year award for 2018.
Mirko Radak is a New York based filmmaker/producer and member of International Federation of Journalists - IFJ. He attended an UNESCO education project with students from 67 nationalities in Bonn, Germany. They integrated refugees from all over the world as brothers and sisters and hence is petrified with the refugee struggles today. He met Rajeev at the height of the European refugees crisis. They decided to integrate their knowledge and experiences to tell their story through a personal approach.
Since this is an American-European documentary, it gives a unique perspective on the refugee crises through the prism of the harrowing journey for a better future.