The story of a family of chocolate makers from Syria, who fled from the war and made a new life in Canada, has been made into a film that will have its premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in June. The Canadian premiere will happen during the ICFF (Italian Contemporary Film Festival) on Canada Day with a drive-in showing at Ontario Place. For more CLICK HERE.
Peace by Chocolate is a chocolate company based in Nova Scotia founded by Syrian chocolatiers who came to Canada through the refugee program in 2015/16. Assam Hadhad had the biggest chocolate factory in the Middle East before the war in Syria. In 2012, the factory was bombed and the family fled the country. They were accepted to Canada through the refugee resettlement program and found a new home in the small town of Antagonish, Nova Scotia. Assam made chocolates as a way to thank their community for welcoming and supporting them. That led to the community helping them set up a little ‘factory’ in a shed by their house. The company has since expanded into a proper factory and now includes a beautiful boutique store in Halifax, which opened last month. It’s a great testament to open arms, open hearts and the difference those things can make in a community.
RELATED: Making Chocolate and Sharing Happiness: Tareq Hadhad on The Upcoming Peace By Chocolate Movie
The film, which was originally scheduled to be released October 2020, will focus on Tareq Hadhad, played by Ayham Abou Ammar. Tareq had been studying medicine in Syria and came to Canada alone before his parents and siblings arrived. In the film, he is torn between “following his dream to become a doctor and preserving his family’s chocolate legacy”.
When I spoke to Tareq Hadhad in March of 2020, he explained that, while the story of Peace by Chocolate will be told honestly, something very important to the family, “There are some dramatic events that happen [which] were added. We wanted to add some interesting events in the movie that would be shared nationwide.” He said he was hopeful that the movie would tour film festivals and was looking forward to seeing the reaction from audiences to “the story of Tareq, the story of the Hadhad family, the story of Antigonish. I hope that everyone will certainly enjoy it.” He also said “Everyone should bring popcorn and tissues because they will need it!”