About the Project
There are three strands to our project ‘Solidarity Seekers’:
·Making a short documentary film about the plight of migrants at Calais
·Educating migrant children in filmmaking
·Generating donations to food & shelter charity L’Auberge des Migrants
We are a group of three young filmmakers who are about to travel to Calais to make a documentary. This will be based on the people who have to call western Europe’s largest refugee camp – a slum worse than Mumbai’s – their home. These migrants are described as being ‘at the bottom of the migrant food chain’ (The Guardian).
We have formed links with a school/library 'Jungle Books' where we know one of the teachers well. Here we will teach the skills of photography and filmmaking and encourage them to record their daily lives in film. We will also be giving them a furthur hands on experience with disposable cameras and make a photo-journalism online series experiencing 'A Day in the Life' using photography taken by the refugees themselves.
We are also donating 30% of all funds we raise to the excellent charity, L’Auberge des Migrants.
Solidarity Seekers is a film to show how these individuals maintain their mental strength in life, through the help of the makeshift Library in the Refugee camp nicknamed ‘The Jungle’.
Our documentary will carry honesty, raw emotion and vulnerability. The people we are filming are in a very exposed situation, so we will make their safety and security - as well as our own - an upmost priority. We will keep the identity of people we film hidden by avoiding the typical 'Talking Heads' approach allowing these personal insights carry themselves without the human urge to see who said what.
The film aims to create a cinematic and poetic picture of the migrants’ movements around their camp environment, which will serve as a backdrop to their stark words about their situation.
The media has reported many negative judgments of this crisis which has left the public undecided as to whether the migrants in Calais are deserving or undeserving of our support.
A refugee camp in northern Europe’s winter period presents a harsh scene. We hope the film’s cinematic aesthetics will portray the brutal truthfulness of the human suffering there, but with a poetic tone.
This film will, we hope, voice the deeply vulnerable parts of people’s lives: their dreams and fears. Parts of the film will contain spoken word and poetry created with the help of the 'Good Chance Theatre' the camps own theatre that has recently been established. We hope to build a rapport with the migrants we meet and to capture their creative expressions and channel of thought provoking words that would be credibly difficult for any human to express.
We will create a non-linear rhythm to show different elements of their lives that will be woven in and out of their expressive words and to represent that fact that life is fragmented and never plays out as expected.
Our vision is that this documentary will be the refugees’ also, as we will ask for their input, so their contribution is made willingly. We only dare to hope that the project may, in one very small way, help reaffirm their self-respect and humanity.
Why Tell This Story?
In 2015, 59.5 million individuals have been classified as displaced from war and conflict, which is the largest number ever recorded.
These introspective personal stories will serve to symbolise the crises faced by migrants worldwide, including a lack of solidarity.
We hope the audience will identify with the raw words of loss from the migrants as equal human beings, hoping to eliminate a hierarchy of who is ‘better’, as well as to be inspired to take action.
I have been provoked to make this documentary to address the fact that we represent the youth of today. It is a very personal project to take on this responsibility and highlight what should be our priorities.
We don’t feel it is justified to settle with the dehumanising statistics of news reports. We want to remind people that there is suffering and it is the suffering of people who could be me and you.
My name is Lutia Swan-Hutton. I am the Director and Editor. I currently am based in Bristol studying my final year of Filmmaking. I am twenty-one years old and have lived in Brazil and Spain.
Sam Mulvey is the DOP/Sound. He also studies Filmmaking in Bristol and is from Cambridge.
Sam and Lutia recently collaborated to make the short documentary entitled ‘Tinkers Bubble’: www.youtube.com/watch?v=FmjsuPCjskc
Lydia Johnson is the DOP/Sound and is also on studying Filmmaking in Bristol and is from Winchester.
Can you help us?
We need to raise £1,300 to make the film feasible. This will help to fund the transport, accommodation and equipment. We are also funding much of the project ourselves.
Support for migrant charity
We will give 30% of anything we raise to the charity l’Auberge de Migrants, an independent charity that has been working at the camp for a number of years. l’Auberge de Migrants coordinate volunteers provide food, warm clothing and shelter to people at the camp, as well as distributing goods. They also provide much-needed advice.
(This is an important charity to back as large charities which normally provide aid, (Red Cross/UN) will not offer aid as the camp is still seen as illegal.)
Please, please do contribute to help us make this project happen. We are very grateful for any amount you can give, however small. We have already put in a great deal of time and effort and we would love this project to turn into something that could in some small way affect the many lives in Calais for the good.
As the documentary will be based on people who are not stationary, we will visit the camp for a second time in January.
A breakdown of our costs will be accessible for all to see at a later date on this page.
What We Will Give You
In accordance to how much is donated we will offer and credit the following;
- Producer Role
- IMDB ‘Special thanks’ credit
- Internet download of the film
The population of this camp has tripled this year alone. We would like to get our film out as soon as possible.
We want to target specially selected festivals that will, we hope, consider showing our film and so raise awareness. Festivals we will aim for are:
- Document international
- Human Rights Film Festival Donostia
- A Film for Peace
- One World
Other Ways You Can Help
If want to support us but cannot do so financially, there are other ways you can help. Perhaps you could helps us in terms of logistics or information; if so please feel free to contact us directly.
If you can donate to the charity l’Auberge de Migrants directly, this wouldn’t affect our production but a small donation to this goes a long, long way.
Please share this page and our Facebook page as much as possible. Thank you very much!