OCTOBER 18 – 22, 2023

SOUFRA Film Still Mariam Rooftop Portrait E1553036612835

FOCUS on Impact Film Tour: SOUFRA April 23

Streaming live into San Diego County High Schools on April 23 from 10:00 – 11:30 am

High Schools across San Diego County may participate in a live stream of the inspirational documentary and Cannes Film Festival & Berlin Film Festival Official Selection: Soufra and a Q&A with the filmmakers.

Thomas Morgan – Director & Producer
Tonya Mantooth – CEO and Artistic Director of the San Diego International Film Festival

Official Selection Cannes Film Festival and Berlin Film Festival, Soufra the movie follows the unlikely and wildly inspirational story of intrepid social entrepreneur, Mariam Shaar – a generational refugee who has spent her entire life in the Burj El Barajneh refugee camp just south of Beirut, Lebanon.

Meet the Director & Producer: Thomas Morgan

SOUFRAFilm Thomas Portrait InAlley“Thomas Morgan is more than a filmmaker. He’s an astute observer of the human condition with a visionary drive to tell the stories of others in order to make the world a better place.” – Steve Stein, Inside Asia

Thomas Morgan is a film Director whose films have been leveraged to create lasting movements with a specific call to action. In his first film, Storied Streets, Morgan captured the painful reality of homelessness in America and gracefully unearths pain and personal triumphs of those living unhoused in our country. Through the film he has elevated awareness of the problem on thousands of college campuses, petitioned in front of Congress, and pushed for laws to make violence against the homeless a hate crime and the abolishment of laws criminalizing homelessness.

With the 2013 documentary short film, Waiting For Mamu, he speaks to the power of one person through the story of Pushpa Basnet, who at age 21 began helping free innocent children from the prison floors in Nepal. The award-winning film has raised over $1.4M which helped to build a permanent home, The Butterfly Home, in Kathmandu and assisted in supporting the ongoing education of these children.

His latest film, Soufra, was a New York Times and LA Times critics pick, won several film-festival awards around the world and screened at the Vatican. The film tells the story of generational refugee Mariam Shaar and her quest for the basic right to own a business—a food truck. Soufra was used to raise nearly $1 million to build a school in the camp and now 150 refugee children have access to education.

Morgan was Executive Producer of Silenced, a film about US government whistleblowers, and India’s Daughter, an Oscar contending film about the rape and murder of a 23-year old medical student in India.  He has been a keynote speaker many times on Capitol Hill and twice before the U.S. Congress. His TED Talk entitled Put On Your Underoos It’s Time To Save The World has been seen viewed by hundreds of thousands and was the commencement speaker at his alma mater given what has been called “One the best commencement speeches of 2015.”

Thomas attended college at Central Michigan University where he graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration in 1990. Morgan worked as real estate developer and investment banker for most of his career. In 2009, after a “series of unlikely events” Morgan left the corporate world behind to become a documentary filmmaker and activist.


SOUFRA Live Streaming into San Diego County High Schools April 23, 2019 | 10:00 – 11:30 am

Curriculum available | Replay option available |

To participate: RSVP to cindy@sdfilmfest.com by April 12, 2019
Include: Name of school, contact person email & phone and the number of students anticipated to participate.