The Interpreters

Follow the stories of Iraqi and Afghan interpreters who worked with US forces.

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Independent Lens
Funding Initiative
Open Call
  • Award laurels-r Created with Sketch.
    2018 Mountainfilm in Telluride-Moving Mountains Prize
  • Producer/Director

    Andres Caballero

    Andrés Caballero is a New York based director/producer and journalist. He co-directed Gaucho del Norte, an observational documentary that follows the journey of a Patagonian immigrant sheepherder recruited to work in the American west, and is also a 2016 MacArthur Documentary Grant recipient for The Interpreters. He is a Firelight Media Documentary Show more Lab fellow and recently produced An Act of Worship for Field of Vision. Previously, he worked as a producer for StoryCorps, recording the stories of military personnel who served in post 9/11 conflicts. He is a former NPR/Above the Fray fellow, where he reported stories from Cameroon and the Central African Republic. Andrés a former producer for Latino USA and his stories have appeared on NPR’s Morning Edition, Weekend Edition, PBS' America Reframed and print publications across the US. He holds a MS from the Columbia School of Journalism Show less


    Sofian Khan

    Sofian Khan is the founder of Capital K Pictures— a New York-based production company focusing on documentary work. His shorts have appeared on Field of Vision, Al Jazeera, PBS, Fusion, The Atlantic and Huffington Post. He is a 2016 MacArthur Documentary Grant recipient for his film The Interpreters, currently in post-production. Sofian’s first Show more feature, The Dickumentary— a definitive history of the penis from its evolution millions of years ago, to today— was acquired by Breaking Glass Pictures in the US, and made its festival premiere at the Atlanta Film Festival. His second feature, Gaucho del Norte, was released shortly after, co-directed with producing partner Andrés Caballero. The film was a Jerome Foundation grant recipient. It premiered at the 2015 Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, and afterwards aired on PBS’ America ReFramed series. Show less

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    The Film

    The Interpreters follows the harrowing stories of Iraqi and Afghan interpreters as they pay a life-and-death price for working with coalition forces during the wars. Now they are struggling to reach safety and rebuild their lives in the aftermath of war. Though many interpreters who worked with the United States are eligible to receive the Special Immigrant Visa (S.I.V.), which would allow them to take their families out of harm’s way and start a new life in the states, the slow and dysfunctional application process can take years. Those who find themselves under imminent threat must either hide or make their own way as refugees to Europe, while the unlucky ones who fall into the hands of militants and extremists can expect a gruesome death.