A film company managed by Georgia Democratic congressional candidate Jon Ossoff paid human smugglers operating across Europe nearly $2,000. Ossoff came on as CEO of documentary production company Insight TWI in 2013. Insight TWI made 2006’s “Living With Illegals,” in which a documentary presenter repeatedly hands off company cash to sets of smugglers to make his way from Morocco to England along with waves of immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa.
The film purported to help its audience understand the hardships endured by illegal immigrants flooding Europe, and, though it in no way glamorizes the journey, the 48-minute documentary is effectively a how-to guide for unlawful border-crossings.
Ossoff, a former Democratic congressional staffer, is slated to face ex-Georgia state secretary Karen Handel in a June 20 special election. That seat opened up after Republican Tom Price vacated it to become health and human services secretary. Ossoff has raised an astonishing $8.3 million, with 95 percent of his donors coming from outside of the Peach State.
The documentary “Living With Illegals,” a title conspicuously absent from the select filmography on Insight TWI’s website, was executive-produced by Ron McCullagh. McCullagh shares that same production credit with Ossoff on recent projects like 2016’s “Stacey on the Frontline: Girls, Guns and ISIS” and 2015’s “Justice!”
In an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution earlier this month, Ossoff, 30, discussed meeting McCullagh, a former BBC reporter, through mutual friends while Ossoff was still a teenager, saying, “I was just fascinated at that young age by [McCullagh’s] work—because journalism has always been an interest of mine.” Years later, McCullagh would successfully convince Ossoff to take helm of the company.
Ossoff further told the Journal-Constitution that, when he joined the film company, its record was one he could get behind. “I thought [my grandfather] would be proud for me to use some of those resources to invest in growing a company whose work I believed in,” said Ossoff.
“Living With Illegals” is for sale, through U.K. film distributor SWPictures.
In the film, documentary presenter Sorious Samura, a citizen of both Sierra Leone and the United Kingdom, handed off money to smuggling teams from both Nigeria and Iraq. Samura explained on camera that “the [film] crew” paid 700 euros to the Nigerians to transport him illegally from Spain to France.
Samura’s contact while on layover in Spain put him in touch with a Nigerian smuggler. The smuggler explained on camera to Samura and an Insight TWI camera operator, “I can’t say I can get you there without police problems, there’s no guarantee.”
After smugglers successfully ran Insight TWI associates into France, the crew documented the Nigerians cheating an African immigrant, whom the smugglers had earlier assured Samura would help break into England.
“Of course they lied,” narrated Samura. “But this shows the dog-eat-dog world I’m now a part of, where fellow Africans are selling each other out.”
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Near the end of his journey, Samura said he paid 500 euros to Iraqi Kurds to get him from France into the United Kingdom hidden in a truck. Among the Kurdish smugglers’ other customers for illicit U.K. entry were Afghans.
As of Monday, Insight TWI’s website, as prominently as its banner, showcases as flagship the reputation of Samura, whom the company touts as “one of the world’s most widely respected African film and television journalists.”
Altogether, after currency exchange and inflation-adjustment, the company of the Democratic hopeful for Georgia’s 6th congressional district once subsidized human smuggling to the tune of $1,800 in 2017 dollars.
“Living With Illegals” shows desperate attempts by African immigrants to break into the Spanish enclave of Cueta, which is on the Moroccan coast. As early as its first TV advertisement, in Jan. 2016, Donald Trump’s presidential campaign highlighted the importance of border security in America using a clip of Africans attempting to leap into that autonomous European outpost.
Stay tuned for more.
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