Surviving war without an identity


Surviving war without an identity

In the aftermath of war and displacement, FORGED is a documentary about the human right to documentation.

Since the beginning of the Civil War in 2011, many displaced Syrians have been forced to flee their homes with just the clothes on their backs. In the height of war, not a moment could be spared to pack the vital items that they would need to start a new life outside of Syria. They left behind the passports and identity cards that prove their existence and now live stranded, both in Syria and abroad.

At the end of 2015, UNHCR estimated that there were between 160,0000 and 300,000 stateless individuals in Syria alone. They have no documentation to prove their identities.

This feature documentary follows the story of a man aiming to change that; an illegal forger working undercover in Turkey to create passports and certificates for this lost population of Syrians.

By obscuring his identity, our forger narrates the story and walks the audience through his mission to provide Syrians with their rightful identities without the Regime.

Documents bought from the Syrian government can cost thousands of dollars or worse, force the applicants into jail. Our forger’s work thus involves carefully replicating the passports, family books, marriage, death and birth certificates of the Regime.

At the same time, we follow four Syrian families in their plight to live within their host countries.

Saleh & Marwa

A young married couple, are stuck in the crossfire in Idlib as they cannot prove they are husband and wife.


A grandmother, worries about dying with no proof that she exists.


A mother of six stranded in Lebanon cannot afford to have her most recent child registered with the state.


A teacher whose children were born after the war, forbidding them from any formal education.

View the Forged Trailer


"Who do you turn to when your country is so broken that there is no legitimate way for you to prove that you even exist? Forged takes a lyrical and humane look at heart wrenchingly decent, ordinary families cornered into paying for fake documents to move, marry, educate or legitimise their children.  We see the forgers themselves grapple with the morality and practicalities of their trade and to ask if they’re saving lives or sponging off human misery. This documentary has unique access and and an engaging cast of characters."

Jane Ray

Artistic director of The Whickers

"A rare and vivid insight into the plight of Syrians trapped in the country's last rebel held province, Idlib."

Mike Thomson

BBC World Affairs Correspondent

Support Us

Our team are managing an ongoing impact campaign to increase awareness of refugee statelessness and make identity documents more accessible. We rely on the support of our network to do the following:

  • Host screenings and grassroots events to spread the word about our mission
  • Collate a one-stop-shop resource kit for Syrian refugees to get help or claim asylum
  • Maintain our social media and website presence reaching a global audience
  • Inspire policy change on documentation through petitions and lobbying

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