The story focuses on the European and Middle Eastern refugee crisis which continues to grip the world's attention following the Arab Spring movement. It was filmed at 29 locations in 8 countries spanning over four years. 

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. After interviewing hundreds of refugees along during this journey, something unexpected occurred.  Many refugees refer to smugglers as Gods, contrary to their ruthless reputation. 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. They still have hope to find a better life. 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 highlights the struggles of the refugees during the COVID 19 pandemic and an insight on the arrival of Afghanistan refugees to the United States. 

The film views them as anti heroes and in the 120 minute film will be one of our focuses. The logistics smugglers employ to stat one step ahead of authorities. 

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 (Director)

As an Infectious Diseases physician having previously serving in Darfur with Doctors without Borders in Darfur and now in Disaster Medicine at Harvard Medical School, I've treated impoverished patents around the world. The COVID 19 pandemic, vaccine inequity and the worsening climate change has already exacerbated the suffering of global refugees this year. 

Smugglers and Refugees is a prospective four year film which focuses on the struggles and hardships Middle Eastern and African refugees face while taking the perilous journey to Europe risking everything. The film focuses on the lucrative multi billion dollar industry of human smugglers and how its stringent logistics always keep them one step ahead of the authorities. The smugglers demonstrate strict discipline in their well planned sea routes and border crossings across the snow covered mountains. However, not all smugglers are created alike. Dr.Rajeev Fernando maneuvers throughout the film effectively with compassionate medical care for the refugees during their journey, undercover dialogues with smugglers and solutions to end the 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.

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 (Producer, DOP, Editor)

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 also 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 and they decided to integrate their knowledge and experiences to tell their story through a personal approach.

The film gives a unique perspective on the refugee crises through the prism of the harrowing journey for a better future.



Every Dollar made from the movie directly goes back into supporting Rajeev favorite charities.


To get involved AND receive a clip of Rajeev being warned of danger by a Syrian smuggler contact