Films and fun for the children of Calais and Dunkirk Refugee Camps

Update posted by Brighton Youth Film Festival BYFF On Jul 07, 2016

We're leaving bright and early tomorrow morning for Calais.

Right now, around 6000 refugees from war-torn and politically unstable countries remain 20 miles from the coast of Dover, many are children.

Starling Cinema will do three screenings for the children, adults and volunteers living there.

Thanks to your help we are able to serve biscuits & juice during the screenings.

All your kind donations of trainers, hoodies and tracksuit trousers for the youth in the camp are packed up, ready to be delivered. They are desperately needed!

'Calais Kitchen' who are doing an amazing job feeding thousands of refugees daily, told us that they are very short of food supply.

So we did a big shop of chick peas & kidney bean tins to take with us.

They also desperately need volunteers.

Here is their FB link:

All of this is only possible because of you.

Thank you for helping to make a little difference!

The Starling Cinema Team

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Update posted by Brighton Youth Film Festival BYFF On Jun 28, 2016

We are returning to do more screenings at the refugee camps in Calais & Dunkirk.
Dates will be the 8th & 9th July.

This time we are also taking desperately needed items for the youths in the camp.
We want to take the following items (and only these items):
• trainers - sizes 40,41,42,43
• hoodies for ages 12-17
• tracksuit bottoms for ages 12-17

Please note that we have been asked specifically for the above, and cannot accept any other items.
To arrange drop off or delivery contact us on [email protected]

Any cash donation will also be gratefully received.
This will help us continue to take pop-up cinema to the camps.

Any donation is a huge help to make a little difference.

Thank you!

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Update posted by Brighton Youth Film Festival BYFF On May 14, 2016

We left bright and early last Friday morning, encouraged by all your support, yet nervous about what awaited us. On arrival at the Calais camp, we were struck by how strange it was to have just left home, yet feel as if we’d been transported to a totally different world, somewhere further away than the 3 hours it had taken …
Nothing can really prepare you for the reality of the place. All around is the evidence of people doing their best to make their environment more habitable, but we were all stunned to see children living in such conditions and with so little comfort. From the moment we arrived on that hot dusty morning, after passing the French police and entering the camp, we were made to feel welcome and put at ease by the friendliness and warmth from everyone we met.
A lot of time was spent listening; to refugees, volunteers, youth workers and people working for the various organisations running projects that weekend. Hearing the most incredibly sad, desperate and heroic stories as we gradually began to find our way around the camp.

Our football making activity, with teenage boys between 13 and 18 years (most of whom were unaccompanied), was incredible! The boys were warm, polite and friendly. Each one taking the time to shake our hands, grateful that we were there and happy to engage with us, even in a game of catch!

In the two and a half days we were there, we put on four screenings: One for teenage boys and another for a group young men at the Calais Camp; a third for a mixed group of pre-school and primary aged children at the Dunkirk camp; And lastly an outdoor night-time screening for the amazing volunteers at L'Auberge who do such incredible work and who also desperately need some down time.

It’s magical to experience the laughter that comes from an audience that has been through unimaginable trauma and suffering and yet are able to find joy in the simple act of watching a film. And who would have thought that 'Mr Bean’ (that’s what was requested!) would prove so popular to all ages and cultures?

The one question we were asked over and over, again and again was...
"Will you come back?"
we answered
"Yes we will come back! And as soon as we can!"

With your help this first trip was possible!
A total of £700 was spend.
All the art supplies was left behind for the children and young people.
When we learned that there is a desperate shortage of fresh food in the Calais camp, we decided that buying an enormous amount of tomatoes and cucumbers would be a great way of helping. We were able to provide enough to feed 1500 people for one day.

So in short… The fundraising needs to continue and we need your help to spread the word for donations!

Thank you all. You are making a difference!

The Starling Cinema Team

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Update posted by Brighton Youth Film Festival BYFF On May 04, 2016

Thank You!!!

Please feel free to keep donating to ensure this will be the first of many trips.

We did some shopping for our fun activities and had so much fun ourselves.

Big Thanks to ' Miller Goodman' for donating 8 sets of 'Play shapes'.

Wonderful wooden toys to leave with the children centres in the Calais & Dunkirk camps.

Only 2 more sleeps before we're off bright and early :)

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Update posted by Brighton Youth Film Festival BYFF On May 02, 2016

With 4 days to go and 88% of our target reached, we're nearly ready for our first visit to the Refugee Camps.

We've been told by the youth services there that some of the children are already expecting our visit with excitement.

Any donation will help to get us to 100%!

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Update posted by Brighton Youth Film Festival BYFF On Apr 26, 2016

We are touched and truly encouraged by the incredible support Starling Cinema has received in its first week of fundraising.

Preparations for our first trip are in full swing. Updates to follow.

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Jay Curtis

Backed with £15.00 On Oct 21, 2016


What a wonderful thing to do!

Janie Tydeman

Backed with £50.00 On Aug 15, 2016


Alex Langridge

Backed with £10.00 On Jul 09, 2016


Excellent work that I am keen to support. Well done. A fantastic idea.

Carmen Slijpen

Backed with £50.00 On Jul 08, 2016


gina kawecka

Backed with £10.00 On Jul 07, 2016


thanks for doing this

alistair milne

Backed with £20.00 On Jun 29, 2016



Backed with £30.00 On May 25, 2016


Good luck with this excellent project.

Paul Bazely

Backed with £50.00 On May 20, 2016


David Blishen

Backed with £30.00 On May 19, 2016


This is a brilliant thing to be doing!

Natasha Kirwan

Backed with £10.00 On May 10, 2016

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