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Beyond Diplomacy: Building Sustainable Peace

A film by Jamil Simon

A Feature Length Documentary About Peacebuilding in Four Countries

Would you like to contribute to a feature length documentary to explore the complex pathways to peaceful solutions to conflict?

Looking at Burundi

After suffering through 12 years of extreme ethnic violence like its neighbor Rwanda, Burundi established a remarkable peacebuilding process beginning in 2003. However, in 2015, conflict arose again when the President decided to run for an illegal third term.

The demonstrators in this photo are peacefully protesting the President’s decision, and pushing back against heavily armed police. We filmed for four weeks in Burundi before and during the early stages of the political crisis to tell the complex story of how the country’s fragile peace was built, and how it fell apart when the President decided to defy the constitution. You can see a 10-minute Preview Video that introduces Burundi’s story here.

Beyond Diplomacy: Building Sustainable Peace

We are now producing a unique, powerful and ambitious feature-length documentary that will include Burundi’s story of fragile peace alongside stories of peacebuilding of three other countries.

The film will profile peacebuilding in four countries– Northern Ireland, Colombia, Sri Lanka, and Burundi: four countries on four continents, reflecting different cultures and different paths toward peace. Burundi is moving away from the peace it achieved. Colombia is moving towards peace. Northern Ireland and Sri Lanka have achieved some resolution to their violent civil wars, yet important issues remain unresolved.

The film, intended for a global audience, will show viewers what it takes to achieve peace, and how easy it is for that hard-won peace to fall apart. The breadth of experiences related in these four powerful stories will demonstrate that peacebuilding techniques can work across cultures and in different conflict situations.

The aim of this film is unprecedented – to help viewers understand the complex process of building and sustaining peace.

Thanks to the help of our many generous supporters, we were able to film for 4 weeks in Burundi. We are now preparing to film in Northern Ireland, Colombia, and Sri Lanka. We expect most of the funding will come from large foundations, but in this early, creative phase of the project, we welcome contribution of any size to help us launch this unique and powerful project to make peacebuilding more visible and understandable to a global audience.

Jamil Simon

For more information about the project, email to Put Beyond Diplomacy in the subject line. Also click on the links below.

Jamil Simon LinkedIn page

Spectrum Media Website

Jamil created a remarkably successful, one-day Symposium called War Stories Peace Stories: Peace Conflict & The Media. It was designed to bring journalists and peacebuilders together to learn about each other’s practice and to discuss new approaches to reporting on peace and conflict.

David Swanson of Talk Nation Radio did a 30-minute interview with Jamil about the importance of elevating awareness of peacebuilding.

Associated Members

Jamil Simon, Producer