Escape from ISIS: Behind the Scenes

You can read a feature piece I wrote on the ‘Making of…’ Escape From ISIS in today’s Broadcast magazine.

It includes behind the scenes photographs, such as this one of me with anti-ISIS militia on the frontline in north Iraq – just a few minutes before the most dramatic scene in the film happened.


Join the discussion 20 Comments

  • Celeste Theis says:

    Mr. Watts,
    I watched your film “Escaping ISIS” on PBS last night. I was then up all night thinking about it.
    I would like to know if there is a way to help Khalil al-Dakhi in his efforts to help these girls and women.

    Celeste Theis

    • Ed Watts says:

      Dear Celeste,

      Thank you so much for writing. As I have mentioned to other people in the comments, we are currently working on establishing ways for people to offer their help to the network. I will be in contact again as soon as we have something set up.

      With best wishes

  • Lynne Hutcheon says:

    Dear Edward – I celebrate you and your team – bringing the reality into our lives – our Government should be ashamed – so should all the other Governments in the world who allow this to continue – they know where ISIS are – aerial bombings, killing the innocent as well is not the answer
    They need to meet with Khaleel al-Dakhi , he has the local knowledge – and support him and his brave people.

    I too echo Celest’s words – I too would like to know what I can DO.


    • Ed Watts says:

      Dear Lynne,

      Thank you very much for writing and for your kind comments.

      I am currently working with Khaleel and various charitable organisations in the US to establish ways in which people can help the network.

      I will contact you again as soon as we have something set up.

      Again, thank you for writing. I will be in touch soon,


      • Corey says:

        Dear Edward, Thank you for filming “Escaping Isis”. Please keep me posted when you find a way to help Khalaal. I would like to help in any way. Corey

  • ann fahey says:

    Dear Mr Watts I know women suffer all over the world through one sort of suppression or another. Indeed I help and support women and girls in this country in many ways. The suppression and suffering I have just witnessed via your film is the most acute, most dismissive form of humanity that I have seen in a while within the culture that exists in the present day societal weariness of humanities cruelty to each other. I’m a woman and I’m tired of this. Tired of womens groups working the world over to be safe. Be valued. We all want the same. We want to be free to choose, free to be, free to change. Yet all these groups, and I’m involved in many, fight separately. We fight our own corners, for our own particular needs, our own particular priorities. And in doing so disempower each other by diminishing our collective voice. Who can shout the loudest? Who has the greatest need? Who is in the most danger? Do we not collectively represent over half the global population? Why can we not stand together and say “no more?” Be you black, white, muslim, christian ad infinitum…………….. Why? or is the question just too simple?

  • Patrick says:

    Like others, I want to know what I can do to support Khalil al-Dakhi and his network. Once a way has been established, please let me know.

  • Andria says:

    I would like to help in someway. I have contacted my Indiana state senator Dan Coates on an official proposal to offer asylum as Canada and Germany have here in the US. I feel this type of recognition, and response to this proposal would force Americans to pay attention and see for themselves how criminally neglegent our White House has been acknowledging the threat that Islamic terror poses to the world and the sovereignty of all nations. Aside from contacting legislative officials I would like to establish fundraising or even collection of care package items that can be shipped to these people in dire need. What items are most needed? As Americans, we want to help but don’t know how. I have lobbied legislatures on behalf of Constitutional principles and protecting all freedom loving people of the world from those that seek to oppress them. If our governments will not officially answer the call they need to be publicly answer for their neglegence and shame and we the people will care for each other by reaching out in an organized global effort to unite citizens in this “war” on terror and oppression. I’m no anarchist in a destructive sense but if people are officially denied freedom we ,the people, cannot officially offer recognition to governments that deny us our God given freedoms. God bless you for your work and may these people find peace.

  • Silke Findeisen says:

    Dear Edward,

    I am very impressed by this film, it gives so much hope, thank you for filming these brave people in North Irak! Please send me a message, how I can help the woman and children and Khalil al-Dakhi and his group. Thank you very much!
    Best wishes

  • Dear Edward.
    last night I saw your documentary and it touched me so deep and brought me directly back to my wish,to be informed,to help and support.
    Please let me know,if you sorted something out,how I could support Khalil al-Dakhi and his group and also the women,who are “safe” now but still so much in pain and terror.
    Thank you so much for your work,
    if I would live close to you I would knock on your door and would love to asisst and learn from you.
    Take care,

    • Ed Watts says:

      Hello Anna, thank you for writing.

      We are still working on setting up a way for people to support Khaleel, though unfortunately it’s a long complicated process.

      I will let you know as soon as we have any updates.

      Best regards

  • Beth Harrison says:

    Just saw your ISIS film. I want to help. Please add me to your notification list.
    Thank you.

  • Joanna says:

    Dear Edward,

    I watched your deeply moving film two days ago. Thank you for bringing the stories of these girls and women and of Khaleel al-Dakhi to many people. Please let me know too once a way to support his work has been set up. I wish you much luck with the process of establishing this. Meanwhile, can you suggest an organisation providing care and counselling for the women and girls who escape to which I might donate?

    Thank you again,


  • Nicole Steineger says:

    I would also like to be notified when there is a way to help Khaleel. I saw your documentary a few weeks ago and cannot stop thinking about him. Please, if you are able, let him know that many are thinking of him and are moved by his courage and bravery. May God bless him and keep him safe.

  • Laura murphy says:


    Like so many others, I was incredibly shocked, horrified and moved by ISIS’ treatment of women and children. It seems that this topic has been relatively ignored in the media (I’ve read only a handful of other reports in the big media outlets) until now. Thank you for your important and eye-opening work, and I hope it receives the attention it desperately deserves.
    I will spread the word about your film, but I would love to provide financial or other types of support to Khalil and his team, too. I know you are working things out, but please keep me posted, too, about any developments. I noticed there are almost 200 comments on the Frontline Escsping ISIS Facebook page also wanting to contribute towards the rescue efforts.
    Thank you for your incredible film.

  • Madeleine Price says:

    You must be flooded with messages like this but I want to help this brave man and those poor women; please add me to the notification list.

    Thanks for making such an incredibly moving film.

  • Matt says:

    Please add me to the notification list as well. Thanks!

  • J says:

    Add me to the notification list, thanks 🙂

  • Valerie says:

    Please add me to your list of people who would like to make financial contributions towards these survivors, all others captured by Isis and any support you and your team require. My heart weeps for these families. I understand it is a complicated process to set up an international fund, any time you’re ready I’ll respond if you update me when you’re ready. My wish for you is that many people open door’s for you and your team to make this process as smooth as possible. Thank you for bringing their story into my living room, you efforts reached right through the screen right into my life.

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