CO-FOUNDERS OF OPTIMIST; AWARD-WINNING DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKERS; HUMANITARIANS
From living in a tent in a Syrian refugee camp to working as radish farmers and surviving on $1 a day in Guatemala, Chris Temple and Zach Ingrasci are award-winning humanitarians, activists, and filmmakers. On-stage, they demystify some of the world’s most complex situations, leaving audiences feeling more connected and empowered to make a difference.
As co-founders of Optimist (formerly Living on One), Chris and Zach have received widespread acclaim as bold storytellers and compassionate leaders of social justice — honored with the 2016 Muslim Public Affairs Council Annual Media Award, and recognized alongside Bill Gates and Angelina Jolie as two of the top 100 visionary leaders of 2015 by YPO’s Real Leaders Magazine. They have been called upon to share their expertise at TEDx, the United Nations, and the World Humanitarian Summit, and have been featured on CBS This Morning, as well as in major publications including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic and Variety.
Chris and Zach began their journey in college, when they produced, directed, and starred in their first film, Living on One Dollar. The film was #1 on iTunes for documentaries, featured on the homepage banner of Netflix, and called “A Must Watch” by Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus.
Their second feature documentary, Salam Neighbor, provides an intimate look into the lives of Syrian refugees, through their lens as the first filmmakers ever given a tent and registered inside of a refugee camp. Among its accolades, the film has been endorsed by Queen Rania of Jordan and was accepted into the 2016 American Film Showcase by the U.S. State Department. Both films have been globally distributed by Netflix and Amazon.
For the last 10 years, they've continued to film and do research with the same community of Peña Blanca, Guatemala. The stories are truly a unique lens into life in extreme poverty and will be incorporated into a new feature documentary releasing in 2020. Chris and Zach’s advocacy work reaches beyond filmmaking. In 2017, they collaborated with the UN Refugee Agency and Google to create Searching for Syria, an immersive online hub that answers the world’s top searched questions about Syria. The project was featured on the homepage of Google and reached over 5 million people in the first two weeks.
Equal parts filmmaker and humanitarian, Chris and Zach have been on the front lines fighting for human rights, and have raised over a million dollars to directly empower disenfranchised communities through microfinance, education, and refugee resettlement.
LIVING ON $1 A DAY: INNOVATION AND INSPIRATION FROM THE FORGOTTEN BILLION
Over 1.1 billion people in the world survive on less than $1 a day. This talk will take you beyond the statistic and demonstrate how innovative families are to survive life on the edge. Join accidental filmmakers Chris and Zach, whose research project living on $1 a day for two months in rural Guatemala led the duo to find an unexpected passion. What began as a moment of curiosity has grown into two award-winning documentaries distributed by Netflix, over $1.5 million raised directly for poverty alleviation, and a clear understanding that the poor are our best partners in ending extreme poverty. Through engaging use of video, personal stories, and research, Chris and Zach will help you build empathy for others around the world, achieve a sense of gratitude for the opportunities at your fingertips, practice curiosity to discover your passion, and equip yourself with the tools you need to create change.
MAKING THE MOST OF YOUR GOOD INTENTIONS
This dynamic presentation will equip you with the tools you need to create change, whether in your business, non-profit, church, or day-to-day life. Appropriate for any audience looking to capitalize on their good intentions and turn ideas into action, this presentation will ask the hard questions and leave you with the inspiration and the practical tools to make the most of your charitable efforts. While many seek to make an impact on the world, we must first learn how. As Harvard Dean James Ryan says, the most important step is to recognize that people are experts in their own lives, and before you set out, to always ask, "how can I help?" By integrating media, personal storytelling, and key development strategies, Chris and Zach will provide a road map to help you get started, build your impact, and measure your change.
STORIES MOVE PEOPLE—COMMERCIALS DON'T
This talk is a must-see for any organization looking to improve how they convey their brand to customers or donors. Chris and Zach are hands-on directors with experience making feature documentaries with Netflix, branded films for Google, and their own viral video series that have been seen over 35 million times across social media. In this presentation, you'll learn the fundamentals of storytelling and how they apply to your brand and audience engagement efforts. Whether you’re looking to increase fundraising, support a movement, or improve your bottom line, creatives and administrators alike will learn to harness the power of sharing humanity’s most powerful and basic tool for creating community and cooperation. This talk is not about advertising strategies—it's about cutting through the noise by telling your story in an authentic and impactful way.
Note: Chris and Zach are available both together and separately as speakers, with a wide array of topics and workshop options.