100% of the goal was achieved in just two days! Thank you so much for your support!
NEW GOAL: 200%! With 5,000 euros, editing and composition are completely covered.
The project achieved 100% in two days ... THANKS! YOUR SHOW OF SOLIDARITY IS GREAT!!! But please continue to share and talk about the project around you. I set the goal to 2,500 euros in a prudent way: if the campaign does not reach 100% of its target, we do not receive anything. This is the harsh rule of crowdfunding. But the actual requirements exceed 2,500 euros ... We are missing 6,000 euros as of today to fully complete and distribute the film (the details of the requirements will follow). We will continue to search for funds with private foundations, but their support is pretty unpredictable for a project like this. YOUR HELP STILL COUNTS, WE CAN ACHIEVE 200% to pay all major costs and reduce the amount to find through institutional donors. So, please continue to share the link, and talk about the project around you. It's not just about money. While some cannot contribute financially, it is through sharing the trailer and the story behind this film that people will become aware of the existence of these bunkers in Geneva and elsewhere in Switzerland.
THE PROJECT BACKGROUND
In Geneva, Switzerland, the capital of human rights and the UN headquarters, asylum seekers are housed in bunkers, underground fallout shelters dating back to the Cold War. Syrians, Eritreans, Sudanese, Afghans ... they are crowded in these bunkers, without air or daylight. They are accommodated for months without any indication of the length of their stay, pending a positive decision on their application for asylum, or return to a country they attempted to flee. They thought they had reached the end of their journey, and they find themselves under the ground.
Press articles covering the issue were published in Swiss newspapers ("Vivre dans un bunker au péril de sa santé" , "Asile, une tentative de suicide..." ) and even in the American newspaper The Nation.
In 2015, dozens of asylum seekers rose up and created the StopBunkers collective to denounce these inhumane conditions. They have called out to the citizens of Geneva and state authorities to take action. In particular, some have filmed their living conditions with their mobile phones because media is forbidden in the bunkers.
These images are rare. They show the daily lives of asylum seekers from their own point of view - a perspective to which we have no access. It is when this unique material was confided to me that I decided to make a film.
FILM This film is able to exist thanks to my meeting with Mohammed, a Sudanese refugee who shared his story with me. He is part of the collective StopBunkers, migrants mobilized for their living conditions. Mohammad agreed to speak openly to denounce the inhuman conditions of life underground. The short film BUNKERS is not a conventional documentary. The film offers an experience: sensory immersion into the suffocating life of these underground bunkers. The trip underground is done in the first person, supported by the testimony of Mohammad, and images filmed by mobile phones. The viewer shares the suffering, difficulty in breathing, inability to sleep, overcrowding, tension due to lack of sleep ... that brings to life the trauma of people living in the bunker. The images from the mobile phones, with the black bars from a vertical video, reinforce the tightness. We also worked on a particular sound atmosphere, built mainly from actual sounds of the bunker, crushed and processed by composer Benoit Renaudin.
WHY DID I DECIDE TO MAKE THIS FILM? I hope that this film raises awareness of the living conditions of migrants in Switzerland. Switzerland is often seen as an Eldorado, a rich and prosperous country. No one in Europe imagines the inhuman and degrading conditions in which Switzerland receives asylum seekers. I started thinking about this film about a year ago, during which time two bunkers were requisitioned to accommodate migrants, only for men. In January 2016, the 10th underground bunker will open it's doors in Geneva. It is scheduled to receive families with children. The Swiss themselves are often unaware that people live underground, meanwhile shelters are located in schools or community halls, but also sometimes in the countryside. The film will first be screened at documentary film festivals and on topics of human rights, and following I would like it to be available free online so that the greatest number of people can view it.
WHO IS PART OF THE TEAM? Amazing people! Anne-Claire Adet is the director. After studying political science and anthropology, I learned about cinema on the job, by making videos for associations and NGOs for several years, always on social and political issues. For this personal and important project, it was out of the question to be amateur! I've chosen to surround myself with a professional team in order to give the film a truly cinematic quality to carry a strong message. A young producer, Yasmine Abdel Aziz, immediately agreed to join the project. Born in Egypt, Yasmine lived between Geneva, Paris and Cairo. From being exposed to different cultures, she cultivates a taste for difference and for one to look beyond what is given. With New Tribe, audiovisual production, she seeks to produce films that question our relationship to otherness and embody a curious, quirky and kind look on our world. She also worked with such major figures as Richard Dindo and Jacob Berger. Ana Acosta, an experienced editor, whose films have been presented in major international festivals, made time in her schedule for this film. Ana has edited the films of recognized cineasts such as Juan José Lozano (Sabogal in 2015, Crime Hunters in 2014 Impunity in 2010, Unwanted Witness in 2008) and Britta Rindelaub (Out of sight in 2013 Zurück in 2009). Benoit Renaudin, was launched into the sound composition. Rock guitarist, electronic sound manipulator, designer, hacker, he worked on sound design for theater with the stage director Isis Fahmy. His work is inspired by the real sounds recorded in bunkers by french journalist Daphne Gastaldi from the collective We Report. For interviews, I received valuable assistance from the journalist and director, Miruna Coca-Cozma, who works for Radio Télévision Suisse and has made documentaries, including Notre Ecole, presented in over 70 international festivals.