Before filming Al Jazeera's latest Witness documentary "Refugees got talent," filmmaker Theopi Skarlatos asked herself, "what does a person do when they feel like the whole world has given up on them?"

The answer to her question came as a surprise: set up a talent show.

In the film, Skarlatos chronicles the lives of Sameer, Mahmoud, Basil and Mustafa - four Syrian refugees living in Greece's Oraiokastro refugee camp. The men were adamant on challenging the sense of hopelessness that permeated their camp by uplifting people's spirits.


The group of friends launched a TV-style talent show titled "refugees got talent," right from within their makeshift homes. Together they held auditions, filmed sketches, and posted them to "" -a  Facebook page that they had previously created to tell their stories.

At times they faced backlash, but the group was not deterred, because hope to them is everything. 

Moments of happiness and uncertainty

In her filmmaker's view letter, Skarlatos writes about people "who made buzzers out of camping lights"; these are the people who overcame every obstacle to create a few moments of much needed joy.

Skarlatos adds that the moments of happiness she witnessed while filming will remain temporary "until Europe acts on the policy it speaks of."

"Until Europe acts out the policy it speaks of, no real happiness can come to those staying in the camps in Greece."

For the four friends, things have changed in the few months after the contest ended. Two of them have left to northern Europe, one relocated to another camp and Mahmoud is the only member who remains  in Oraiokastro.