The helicopter is approaching a few meters away from a Mediterranean beach. Its propellers break the still air of dawn and raise a curtain of water. Faces of men, women and children are covered with drops of salt and fear. The roar of the engine mutes their cries, and staggers the small plastic boat in which they have just crossed the scanty sea between Greece from Turkey. There are more than 50 refugees.They are exhausted after dodge the death.
Europe is the propellers of a FRONTEX helicopter (European Border and Coast Guard Agency). It is a shore of unstable and slippery stones. Europe is a stuck doll on the wire fence. It is wet clothes attached to the bones for hours. Europe is an engine that continues spinning like a choking in the chest. And when the boat deflates in the rocks,… some arms on this side. Anonymous arms that embrace them.
WE´LLCOME is a documentary short film shot on the shores of the island of Lesvos during the refugee crisis. More than half of the million migrants that crossed the Mediterranean in 2015 went through this small island located between Turkey and Greece.
WE´LLCOME looks at the refugees through the eyes of Eric, Chris and Kinan. Three volunteers who joined the hundreds of anonymous citizens who came to the shores of Lesbos to help.
In the absence of any aid agencies or help from the authorities, Eric, a British painter and sculptor who has been living on the island for 16 years, spend 100% of his time to alleviate the suffering of the hundreds of migrants who land each day a few meters from his house.
Kris is a Belgian tourist who was surprised by the massive arrival of refugees while she was on holiday in the island. She decides to dedicate her rest time to support them unselfishly, while other tourists remained indifferent enjoying the beach.
Kinan was exiled from Syria 5 years ago and now lives near Brussels. His difficulties in moving freely around Europe have not been an impediment to helping those who, like him, have had to leave their country to save their lives.
Why a Crowdfunding?
WE'LLCOME is an uncompleted project, it is not finished yet. The Pre-Production and Filming phases are concluded, but the Edition and other Post-Production tasks need to be done. And this is the reason why I launched a crowdfunding campaign which allow me to finish the project.
About The Refugee Crisis
According to International Organization for Migration data, 3,771 people drowned trying to cross the Mediterranean in 2015. It seemed difficult to overcome these figures, but there are already 4,700 people killed in the same circumstances from January to December 2016. This shows that, after two years of this crisis, the European authorities and institutions do not seem very interested in finding solutions to avoid that the sea that Europeans share becomes a mass grave.
In addition, 50,000 of the total refugees who reached European land, are still crowded in makeshift camps, mostly in Greek territory. Many will be expelled and others will wait indefinitely in subhuman conditions to regularize their situation as asylum seekers.
The one million migrants who arrived in Europe last year represent only 0.2% of the total population of the EU. Some countries such as Lebanon, with 4.5 million inhabitants, have welcomed 1.5 million refugees. Anyone could understand that the figures we handled in Europe should have been easily manageable.
The refugee crisis has been a mirror for Europeans. It has forced us to look at ourselves, to ask ourselves who we are and, above all, to let us know what kind of people we have chosen as leaders in our continent. A fact that already says a lot about who we are.
I have born in Madrid. I am photographer and filmmaker. I´m interested in human rights issues. My stories have been published in several magazines and newspapers such as BBC, Stern, El País, Toronto Star, The Irish Times, Le Soir, De Standard, New Internationalist and others.
I am doing this crowdfunding because it is difficult for freelancers as me to find media, channels and producers who want to pay worthily (or simply want to pay) for the work we do.
Launching this crowdfunding is, in a way, an opportunity to overlook with these intermediaries and reaching people directly. People who, like you, may be interested in the stories we tell. And above all, people who want to support it. So that some of us can go there and telling what we see, without filters.
How can you support me?
Verkami is a crowdfunding platform that helps realize projects like this thanks to people like you: friends, collegues, aquaintances and strangers who believe in the project and invest in it with whatever amount they can. For the price of a lunch or a book, you’ll have the satisfaction of being the sponsor and also you will receive some rewards.
The goal is to raise in only 40 days at least €2,500 in order to cover the basic cost of the project. But the more I raise, the more will be the final project and the rewards.
How do exactly crowdfunding and Verkami work?
1. Choose your reward and make a pledge with your bank card number or through your PayPal account.
2. From then on I´ll keep you updated with all the campaign news by email and you’ll be able to ask me any questions you may have about the project.
3. The campaign remains active for 40 days. This is the time limit to reach at least 2,500 euros of fund-raiser.
4. If I haven’t achieved the goal within the 40 day period, your pledge will be cancelled and no charge will be do on your card or PayPal account. In case I do raise at least €2,500, the bank transfers or PayPal will become effective. The money will be withdrawn from your account and I´ll start working hard to have everything ready for send you the reward you have chosen.
What are the advantages of being a patron?
This crowdfunding campaign does not seek donations. It is an exchange in which you will receive a cultural product after doing an economic contribution.
By supporting this project you have the possibility of acquiring a cheaper cultural product (DVD, magazine, photographs, etc.), since you avoid the distribution costs and the profit of the intermediaries. But you are also supporting the economic autonomy of content creators. And there is no doubt that this will impact on the quality and independence of those contents that can reach your hands.
Therefore, being a patron is a way to get a better product at a better price.
Where will your contributions go?
There is no profit motive with this project. Therefore, all contributions will be used to cover the costs involved in the production.
The filming phase is already finished, but post-production and distribution still need to be done. The contributions will also be used to cover other expenses derived from crowdfunding itself. Next, a more detailed explanation of where your contributions will go:
1. Post Production
Editing of video.
Postproduction of image and sound.
Translation, transcription and subtitling service. In Spanish and English.
Payment of music copyrights.
Film Recording on DVD/Pendrive.
Photo magazines printing.
Expenses of film festivals circuit (merchandising, communication, presentation ...)
4. Recover some expenses already incurred during the shooting
- Travel, car rental, meals, hotels…
5. Crowdfunding management costs
Online platform to promote the project.
Expenses for use of card payment gateways and PayPal.
About The Rewards
If you are reading this it means that you are interested in this project. I thank you for that. But if you also want to contribute so that it can be finalized, you can receive different rewards, which you can see in detail in the right column of your screen.
I'll tell you about it in this section too:
1. Your name in the film credits and online viewing
Your name will appear in the credits of the Documentary as patron of the project if you make the minimum contribution, and also you can access an online viewing in Full HD.
2. Ticket to the premiere in a cinema
For a small amount more, you will have in your hands the ticket for the premiere in Madrid. Much better than watching it on a TV.
(To facilitate the assistance of everybody, sessions will be scheduled on different days. In case of not being able to come and you already have paid the ticket, this reward will be redeemed for an online viewing).
3. DVD/pendrive with film and extras in Full HD
In addition to watching the documentary in a cinema, you can bring home the DVD/pendrive in Full HD with extra videos and several interviews and unpublished images. The final film´s length will be between 20 and 30 minutes, plus the extra videos.
(The DVD will be given to you in cinema the premiere day. If you don´t go to premiere, it will be sent by mail).
4. Photo Magazine
The next reward also includes a Photo Magazine with pictures taken in Lesvos during the refugee crisis. (The magazine will be given to you the premiere day in the cinema. If you don´t go to premiere, it will be sent by mail).
5. High quality paper prints
It is also possible to obtain paper copies in 40x30cm of any of the photographs that you can see in the slideshow in the top of this web. So you can hang them on the wall of your home. Larger copies may be ordered in 50x60cm
The approximate production schedule is:
CROWDFUNDING CAMPAIGN: November - December 2016
POST-PRODUCTION PHASE: January 2017
REWARDS: January 2017
DELIVERY OF REWARDS: January 2017
DOCUMENTARY PROMOTION PHASE: From January-February 2017
¡¡GIVE CULTURE!! NEW GIFT VOUCHERS FOR CHRISTMAS
Have not you thought yet what to give your family and friends at Christmas? Here it goes an idea: Give culture and support independent creators.
First, choose the award you want to give. Then, download and print the
GIFT VOUCHER (one voucher per reward) and give it to your family member or friend.
You can obtain the VOUCHER from this link
Remember than the rewards will be ready in February 2017.
WHY TO CONTINUE FUNDING TO 3,900 EUROS?
I have reached the initial minimum target of 2,500 euros, which will cover some basic expenses of the documentary. But I would like to go further to cover the rest of expenses and also to improving the quality of the REWARDS.
What are these improvements?:
Convert Magazine into a Photo Book, which will have a better quality paper and greater thickness, and more pages.
HAHNEMÜHLE Photo Rag Pearl 320 gr. 100% algodón, for photo prints.
ADDING TEXTS TO THE PHOTO BOOK
- In a separate section of the Photo Book will incorporate texts with testimonies of refugees and volunteers.
ADDING EXTRA VIDEOS TO DVD / pendrive
- Several videos with more interviews with volunteers and refugees will be added to the DVD / pendrive. As well as new very interesting video shots that were left out of the final edition of the documentary.