A CHANCE FOR PEACE
A story spanning over 25 years, director Tyler Batson explores the meaning of peace during divisive political times, providing a glimpse into a world that asks us to come together and define peace through the practice of peace itself.
A Chance for Peace follows the stories of 3 unsung heroes in Kenya who take peace-building into their own hands following Kenya’s tragic post-election violence of 2007, which displaced over 600,000 people. Together, Solo 7 (a vagabond street artist turned peace messenger), Sister Freda (a rural nurse who gave up everything to provide free healthcare to the poor), and Emmanuel Leina (a Maasai pioneer in education) transform the future of their communities, redefining the African experience and highlighting to power of peace in divisive times.
OUR SOCIAL IMPACT
What originally started off as “an idea for a video” to give voice to the media’s misrepresentation of Kenyans during complex political times, A Chance for Peace has grown into a mission to stand up, not just for people, but for peace itself. Through 10 years of immersive experiences and research surrounding the practice of peace, Tyler has traveled over 50,000 miles from the US to Kenya, Egypt, Thailand, India, Germany, and Turkey to tell this story. After receiving little response from the film industry, it became clear: this is a story for the people. And as crises erupt throughout the planet, A Chance for Peace has become the centerpiece for difficult conversations on peace and prejudice, igniting a spirit of possibility and creating real social impact in Kenya.
A Chance for Peace was born out of a defiant belief that we must refuse to let others tell us who we should and should not fear. Peace should never be a spirit of dissent. And now more than ever,
peace needs to be made public.
Director, A Chance for Peace
Director: Tyler Batson
Editor: Yassin Koptan
Running Time: 1 hr, 2 min
Cinematographer: Frank Kraljic
Locations: Kenya and Egypt
Post Production: Fig Leaf Studios, Egypt
Tyler applies to be a volunteer with Seattle’s Village Volunteers. Leaving it to chance, he tells Village Volunteers founder Shana Greene that she should decide where he volunteers and she does: Kenya! After a month in Kenya, Tyler meets his new host father, Emmanuel Leina, who happens to be campaigning for Member of Parliament of Maasailand. Would he like to join him on the campaign trail? Absolutely!
After returning home to the U.S., Tyler eagerly awaits the outcome of the election, only to find out there’s been corruption and violence at the polls. Emmanuel has been attacked and driven from his home. Tyler finds the media treatment of the post-election violence deplorable and decides to “make a video” to share the truth.
Infuriated over the blatantly discriminatory news coverage, Tyler – an art student with no prior experience – dedicates himself to “giving voice to the voiceless,” determined to tell the story of strength and resilience of his Kenyan friends. He sells his car, raises $10,000, and sets off to Kenya just 8 months after the violence.
After shooting in Kenya for 30 straight days, Tyler returns home broke, with no car, and emotionally and physically drained. After filming in IDP camps and slums, he’s just grateful to have a home to return to. He kisses the ground when he gets home to his apartment. The plan: finish school, graduate, and edit 60 hours of footage to tell the story of ACFP.
Back home for only two weeks, Tyler wakes up to what he thinks is an earthquake. In fact, his apartment building is on fire. Fire consumes the building and he loses everything, rescuing the ACFP footage. Later it’s reported that the fire was an arson. Tyler is homeless and displaced, just like those Kenyan’s he profiled weeks prior.
After traveling the globe without a place to call home collecting peace research for the film, Tyler returns to L.A. to edit ACFP. Without the proper software, computer, or editing experience he must hire an editor. But no one is interested. That is until a chance encounter in a Lyft rideshare with a passenger who happens to be an editor. Yassin Koptan joins the team as co-editor and co-producer to help bring ACFP to it’s full realization.
Ten years after Tyler was serendipitously thrust onto the campaign trail in Maasailand, history threatens to repeat itself as a new Kenyan presidential election nears. It becomes clear that “A Chance for Peace” must return to the people who helped created it. In partnership with Hope for Kibera, Tyler host’s public screenings of the film. At the end, viewers are asked if they will commit to peace during the upcoming election, just days away – every single one of them saw YES to peace. Then, just 4 days before the election as tensions are at a national peak, a private screening is held for the gang leaders of Kibera, including members of the Taliban. They too commit to peace. The same divisive political rhetoric that displaced 600,000 people and contributed to the death of over 2,000 people in 2007 is shut down and zero deaths are reported in Kibera. Zero.
Public screenings continue in partnership with Hope for Kibera, with plans to introduce peace events to local school in Kibera, Africa’s largest slum, in hopes of creating a chance for peace, not just for Kibera, but for the entire nation.
When we finished A Chance for Peace, it became clear that the film was destined to return right back where we began – Nairobi, Kenya. We responded to new threats of post-election violence in 2017 and mobilized a community impact team. Together, we started screening A Chance for Peace in public squares in some of the most vulnerable parts of Kenya, preventing violence altogether. Then, when mass deportations began in Los Angeles, A Chance for Peace gave students hope. Today, we continue to look for new ways to let the message of peace ring out all over the world.
All donations made through our fiscal sponsor Fractured Atlas are 100% tax-deductible.
A remarkable story, beautifully captured. A Chance for Peace delves into the most important question facing mankind – what does peace look like? Filmmaker Tyler Batson weaves a narrative that is raw, honest, and emotionally charged. A must watch!
Rising out of a country unfairly stereotyped as violent and riddled with despair, A Chance for Peace is a refreshing beacon of hope. Our fellow human beings in this film can truly teach us so much, especially now.
For people dealing with trauma from a disruptive environment, the concept of peace can be hard to grasp. But ‘A Chance for Peace’ elevates the pursuit of peace to greater heights, where it belongs. The beautiful lesson of the film is that, though we suffer, our deepest desire as humans is not to hate but to heal. The social good that’s emerged as a result of the film demonstrates that, though it may be hard to grasp, our spirits persist once we rise up and choose peace.