Marcus Tullius Cicero, a Roman politician, writer and philosopher, noted almost 2000 years ago „patria est, ubicumque est bene“ – so the fatherland can be anywhere, where someone is well. This could be a motto for expats, which we changed and expanded for the word „success“.
What is success? Realization of ideas? Enforcement of attitudes? Gaining wealth? The Forbes list, a legendary benchmark for financial success, first appeared in 1987 and is updated every year. It covers the world’s richest personalities, irrespective of their nationality and place of residence and the location of their employment.
In a moment in history where immigrants, refugees, migrants, emigrants, – whatever names refer to people leaving their country of birth to live in another country – are critically and suspiciously eyed or even rejected, the view towards the success of „expats“, as permanently resident compatriots in the English-speaking world are called, seems appropriate. Whether international employees (assignee), family members, children born abroad and/or naturalized adults – the dividing definitions are blurring more and more due to individual ways of life. For this project therefore it stands in the foreground that a person from one country lives permanently in another country and is characterized in this „other“ country by financial success.
In our TV series, »EX PATRIA BENE ET FELICITER« different personalities from different areas are to be portrayed. Candidates are for example:
- Melih Abdulhayoglu, who was born in Turkey, went to school in England. Already in 1998, he founded the company „Comodo“, today the world leader in Internet security. In 2018, Forbes magazine estimated his net worth is US$ 1.8 billion. A success story of a Turkish migrant who understood his visions and made the „American Dream“ a reality in the USA.
- Sawsan Chebli, German politician, born in Berlin as the daughter of a stateless family from Palestine, received German citizenship only in 1993. She is considered a political hope in Germany.
- Helene Fischer, singer, and entertainer comes from the Siberian Krasnoyarsk, then USSR, and came to Germany at the age of four. Forbes introduced her in 2018 as one of the top ten vocalists in the world regarding income.
- Max Levchin, a computer scientist and co-founder of Paypal, was born in Kiev/the then USSR and emigrated to the US as a 16-year-old, where he founded even more IT companies and was temporarily Google’s vice president of engineering. Forbes estimates his fortune at $ 300 million.
- Carlos Slim Helú, with Lebanese roots of both parents, now living in Mexico and busy in telecommunications, is listed by Forbes for several years as the richest man in the world.
- Freddy Mercury, a musician, born in Zanzibar / Tanzania, moved to the UK with his parents as a child. With „Queen“ he became one of the most important rock stars of the 20th century.
- Ieoh Ming Pei, born in China, educated in the US and now global architect since nearly a century, in 1983 awarded with the Pritzker Prize, the Nobel Prize for Architecture.
- Elon Musk, founder u.a. from SpaceX, is from South Africa and also has US and Canadian nationality. He left for Canada at the age of 17 and became famous by founding experimental start-ups such as Tesla, Hyperloop, SolarCity and others. On the current Forbes list, he is ranked 54th of the world’s richest people.
10 x 30 minutes, 4K and HD 180, German and English language
projected release: Autumn 2019