Audiences around the country were captivated by the film's rare portrayal of life in war-torn Syria

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(NEW YORK) - June 11, 2017 - Over the past month, National Geographic launched a word-of-mouth screening tour to promote the documentary Hell On Earth: The Fall of Syria and the Rise of ISIS, the gripping film from Academy Award-nominated director Sebastian Junger and his Emmy-winning partner Nick Quested.

Premiering on National Geographic tonight at 9/8c in 171 countries and in 45 languages, Hell On Earth chronicles the chaos in Syria that allowed the rise of the Islamic State - better known as ISIS - in Iraq and Syria.

Influencer audiences in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Houston and Washington, D.C. got a chance to preview the film which features footage of a family living  under ISIS control, Kurdish fighters in Sinjar and Shia militias in Iraq, and even al-Qaida-affiliated fighters in and around Aleppo and Raqqa.

Hell On Earth  sets out  to inspire empathy for the suffering of the people in Syria and beyond and to change the growing discourse on banning refugees from entering the U.S.

Screening attendees were moved -- many to tears -- by the heartbreaking portrait of life in war-torn Syria, but were also encouraged by the pride and resilience of the Syrians in their plight for peace.

Special thanks to the Baker Institute for Public Policy/Center for the Middle East, the Syrian American Council (Northern California Chapter), the International Rescue Committee (Northern California), Black Women Organized for Political Action (Bay Area), Ambassador Edward P. Djerejian, Alexandra Zavis, Lola Ogunnaike, Dr. Ivan Sascha Sheehan, Chauncy Glover, and Dave Clark.

#HellOnEarth premieres TONIGHT at 9/8c on @NatGeoChannel.

Screening tour photos can be viewed/downloaded here: Los Angeles (Erin Wesley) - New York (Bernard Smalls) - D.C. (Mike James)  - Houston (Andre Kelly) San Francisco (American Legal Video Services)


Director Sebastian Junger and KTVU anchor Dave Clark at the San Francisco screening of 'Hell On Earth' (left); A captive audience (right)

A long line of guests formed at the AMC Metreon (left); Sebastian Junger and moderated Dave Clark during the post-screening Q&A (right)

The audience had A LOT to say about the film

Feras Alhlou (president, Syrian American Council), his wife, Sebastian Junger and Dave Clark


Guests enjoyed delicious hors d'oeuvres before making their way to their seats in the auditorium at the Baker Institute for Public Policy

ABC-13's Chauncy Glover moderated a Q&A featuring Baker Institute Director Ambassador Edward P. Djerejian

The conversation was nothing short of riveting

Dr. Ivan Sascha Sheehan and National Geographic President Gary E. Knell arrive at the Landmark E Street Cinema for the D.C. screening of 'Hell On Earth'

Dr. Sheehan moderated the discussion with 'Hell On Earth' filmmakers Sebastian Junger and Nick Quested

The audience was on the edge of their seats the entire night 
  Guests eagerly arrive at the Laemmle Monica Film Center for the advance viewing

The audience was captivated by the film

There was even room for a laugh during a Q&A session with the filmmakers moderated by the LA Times' Alexandra Zavis

Filmmakers Nick Quested and Sebastian Junger stuck around for additional interviews


Lines quickly formed inside the Village East Cinema for the NY screening

TV host Lola Ogunnaike served as the moderator for the night

The conversation during the Q&A extended well after the screening ended

#HellOnEarth premieres TONIGHT at 9/8c on National Geographic

Click image below to watch the  trailer

About Sebastian Junger:
Sebastian Junger is the New York Times No. 1 best-selling author of "The Perfect Storm," "Fire," "A Death in Belmont," "War" and "Tribe." As an award-winning journalist, a contributing editor to Vanity Fair and a special correspondent at ABC News, he has covered major international news stories around the world and has received both a National Magazine Award and a Peabody Award. Junger is also a documentary filmmaker whose debut film, "Restrepo," a feature-length documentary co-directed with Tim Hetherington, was nominated for an Academy Award and won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance.   

About Nick Quested:
Nick Quested is executive director and owner of Goldcrest Films, where he has built one of the world's premiere documentary brands and won two Emmys for his work. Quested has produced over 35 films, including Sebastian Junger's "The Last Patrol," "Korengal," the PGA- and two-time Emmy-nominated "Which Way Is the Front Line From Here? The Life and Time of Tim Hetherington" and the OscarĀ®-nominated "Restrepo." Quested is also an award-winning music video director who has worked with such artists as Dr. Dre, Nas, Puffy, Sting, Master P, Cash Money and Trick Daddy. 

About National Geographic Documentary Films:
National Geographic Documentary Films is committed to bringing the world premium, feature documentaries that cover timely, provocative and globally relevant stories from the very best documentary filmmakers in the world. National Geographic Documentary Films is a division of National Geographic Partners, a joint venture between National Geographic and 21st Century Fox. Furthering knowledge and understanding of our world has been the core purpose of National Geographic for 129 years, and now we are committed to going deeper, pushing boundaries, going further for our consumers ... and reaching over 730 million people around the world in 171 countries and 45 languages every month as we do it. NGP returns 27 percent of our proceeds to the nonprofit National Geographic Society to fund work in the areas of science, exploration, conservation and education. For more information visit or, or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest.
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Shante Bacon


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Saptosa Foster

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