But today, extremists are abusing children and teaching them hatred and violence.
Christianne, Tania, Nicola and Micah all suffered the heartbreaking loss of a family member due to extremism. Kids: Chasing Paradise follows their courageous journeys and their inspirational efforts in becoming champions of activism for children worldwide. The film explores the personal stories of ordinary people becoming extraordinary activists to save children from radicalization.
Christianne Boudreau is a Canadian mother who was personally affected by the impact of the violent radicalization process; her son, Damian, was killed while fighting for ISIS. She now coordinates the Mothers for Life network, which brings together mothers of radicalized jihadis to support one another and combat radicalization.
Tania Joya is a former extremist now working in deradicalization out of Texas. Tania Joya's ex-husband was radicalized as a teenager in Texas and was ISIS’ main propagandist in Syria. Originally British, Tania Joya and her four children live in Texas. Tania used to want her children to grow up to be jihadists. Now she embraces human rights and Western values.
Nicola Benyahia is a British woman who founded Families for Life, a nonprofit organization focused on deradicalization and support for families of young extremists. When Nicola's son, Rasheed, unexpectedly joined ISIS, she found Christianne and they started both a professional collaboration and personal friendship
Mohammed Ali is a 14-year-old teenager in Iraq. He is being trained to be a member of a government-sanctioned paramilitary group, the PMF (Popular Mobilization Forces).
Michael “Younnes” Delefortrie is a Belgian jihadi and former ISIS fighter currently in jail in Belgium. We interviewed him days before he was incarcerated.
Dominique Bons is a French woman whose son joined ISIS and was killed in Syria. Dominique decided something had to be done and, in 2014, founded “Syrien ne bouge agissons” to start working on this issue and provide support to many families facing the same situation.
Mohammed Sheikh Eid is a 14-year-old boy in Gaza who attends an Islamist summer camp. We interviewed Mohammed, his parents and his trainers.
Shoshana is interested in exposing human rights issues through film. She has developed long-term relationships with jihadists and former extremists. Shoshana has a master’s degree in Communication and Culture from York University in Canada, and a certificate in Terrorism and Counterterrorism from Georgetown University. She was a researcher for the award-winning film Honor Diaries, about women's rights in honor-based societies.
Wayne Kopping is an award-winnng filmmaker best known for his work on ground-breaking documentaries about the global threat of Radical Islam. He is also known internationally as a speaker and expert on the topic. His work has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, The New York Times and countless radio shows, publications & blogs.
Kopping has worked professionally in the film and television industry since the age of 8. He started as a child-actor in commercials and TV shows. By the time he was 19, he was directing material for South African television.
Raphael Shore is the founder and CEO of the Clarion Project, producing its groundbreaking documentary films seen by more than 65 million people in 150 countries. His films include the critically acclaimed Obsession: Radical Islam’s War against the West, The Third Jihad: Radical Islam’s Vision for America, Iranium, and Honor Diaries. CNN, the New York Times, and other leading media organizations have interviewed him and featured his films.
Fernanda Rossi is an internationally renowned writer and educator who has collaborated on over 500 scripts, documentaries, and projects. Her documentaries have been nominated for the Academy Awards and the Wildscreen Panda Awards, and have won awards at IDFA, Hot Docs, Sheffield Doc/Fest, Sundance and, DOCNYC. Her book Trailer Mechanics: How to Make Your Documentary Fundraising Demo is considered the bible on demo production by industry professionals.