Somewhere Films is creating a Documentary on Refugee Returns
6

patrons

$121
per month
Hello! We are Somewhere Films, a collective of female filmmakers from London to Los Angeles to Accra. We’ve made music videos, narrative short films, NGO promotional videos, and documentaries. Our productions explore the flash points at which cultures intersect, both within our national borders and beyond them.


What are we making?

Each year, we endeavour to produce multiple passion projects, telling stories we feel deserve attention. Our 2018 project is:

Home Is Where The War Is, a documentary feature on refugee repatriation and deportation. 

Politicians and peacekeepers responsible for containing the chaos of the global refugee crisis have lost the ability to do so. The new response to this uncertain era has been to pull back from helping refugees resettle and integrate into new communities. Instead, voluntary repatriation has become the preferred option.

The cornerstone to the 1951 Refugee Convention is the concept of non-refoulement. This means that refugees cannot be forcibly returned to a country where their security is at risk. Any entity facilitating repatriation must ensure that returns are voluntary and conditions in the home country would not put their lives or freedom in danger.

The scope of the situation has pushed funding to the limit. Donor fatigue has resulted in reductions of aid for camps. Countries attempt to shirk responsibility by paying asylum seekers hard cash to withdraw their claims. Many are caught between living in a country without dignity versus returning to a country without security.

What does “voluntary” mean when none of your options are good? Is the present climate incentivising sending people back into harm’s way?

Though this project grapples with distressing subject matter, it does not aim to tell a punishing story. In our experience, people undergoing traumas and traveling to new places are never who you expect them to be. They are often funny, always unpredictable, and deeply compelling. Above all, they are heroic, facing impossible decisions and taking action.

We are set to film in the following locations:

  • Karen refugees in Mae Sot, Thailand. This community is dealing with dwindling food rations due to donor fatigue as aid resources relocate to Myanmar and many feel they are being pressured to repatriate, despite ongoing conflict. In Post Production.

  • Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Shot during the announcement of the repatriation deal between Myanmar and Bangladesh. In Post Production/Subtitling.

  • Afghan refugees in Peshawar, Pakistan. Following the 2016 push from the Pakistani government to return refugees through pressure tactics like expiring registration cards and police crack downs. In Post Production/Subtitling.

  • Syrian refugees in Lebanon, sitting and waiting as the local government, UNHCR, Hezbollah, Assad and Russia vie for authority over when and under what conditions they can, or should, return to a country with questionable security. In Production.

  • Iraqis in Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan, who have returned from Europe to a country they've previously fled from. In Pre-Production.

  • Resettlements in Lesvos, Greece - 1st Production Stage Wrapped, 2nd in research phase

  • Returnees from Pakistan and Europe in Kabul, Afghanistan. In Pre-Production for 2nd Stage Funding.

  • Asylum seekers in Germany and Sweden who are either being deported on questionable legal grounds or considering accepting the cash incentives offered by their respective host countries to 'voluntarily' repatriate. In Pre-Production.

Who is creating this project?

Anna is a cinematographer and photographer whose work has been published in Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, the New York Times, i-D, Polyester Zine, CRACK Mag, Oyster Mag and more. She is a video contributor at Getty Images.

Shireen is an editor who has created awareness campaigns and promotional pieces for non-profits like The Nature Conservancy and Great Public Schools Now. She also has worked on documentary films about refugees, culture, and film.

Chiara is a screenwriter whose most recent work was featured on the 2017 Black List, and who has previously written screenplays for producer Tanya Seghatchian and director David Fincher. She directs documentaries, as well as short content for nonprofit organizations, including consulting at the United Nations.

Other members of Somewhere Films will be contributing along the way! You can read about them here.

What will your donation go towards?

Your donations will go towards production and post production costs. Mostly the money will go towards hiring local fixers and translators at reasonable day rates, security if necessary, video transcription, subtitles, scoring and color grading.

In order to continue producing these projects in a manner that does justice to the subjects and ensures the safety of everyone involved, we’re now looking to you, patrons of the arts and humanities, to lend us a helping hand!

Additionally, we will offer the NGOs with whom we work a promotional/explainer video, using footage we capture as we shoot Home Is Where The War Is. The video will outline that organisation’s project, and they will have the ability to place this spot wherever they choose, in order to raise awareness or funds. The Somewhere Films team had great success with this model at Mosaik, a center for refugees and locals on Lesvos.
Tiers
Pledge $1 or more per month
$1 or more per month 1 patron
You get access to the Patron-only feed where we'll post updates and try to keep everyone informed. You also get your name in the credits! Your name will be listed in the credits after all our productions, and it will be on our website SomewhereFilms.com in our special thanks section.
Pledge $3 or more per month
$3 or more per month 0 patrons
With this much you get artist features and travel diaries which feature behind the scenes photos and stories of the documentary productions in progress.   
Pledge $5 or more per month
$5 or more per month 2 patrons
Want to dive deeper? You will get detailed posts about the people, timelines, conflicts and policies surrounding the issues we are covering, as well as our reading lists and resources.
Pledge $10 or more per month
$10 or more per month 0 patrons
You get info on where specifically your money is going! We’ll give you profiles on the fixers and translators we hire and meet on the road. Without them, documentaries like ours would never be able to even start. 
Pledge $20 or more per month
$20 or more per month 4 patrons
You will get everything else plus special preview segments of the documentary we have shot and edited thus far!
Goals
$121 of $200 per month
Transportation!

We can actually get to where we’re going! Visas only get you so far.
2 of 10
Hello! We are Somewhere Films, a collective of female filmmakers from London to Los Angeles to Accra. We’ve made music videos, narrative short films, NGO promotional videos, and documentaries. Our productions explore the flash points at which cultures intersect, both within our national borders and beyond them.


What are we making?

Each year, we endeavour to produce multiple passion projects, telling stories we feel deserve attention. Our 2018 project is:

Home Is Where The War Is, a documentary feature on refugee repatriation and deportation. 

Politicians and peacekeepers responsible for containing the chaos of the global refugee crisis have lost the ability to do so. The new response to this uncertain era has been to pull back from helping refugees resettle and integrate into new communities. Instead, voluntary repatriation has become the preferred option.

The cornerstone to the 1951 Refugee Convention is the concept of non-refoulement. This means that refugees cannot be forcibly returned to a country where their security is at risk. Any entity facilitating repatriation must ensure that returns are voluntary and conditions in the home country would not put their lives or freedom in danger.

The scope of the situation has pushed funding to the limit. Donor fatigue has resulted in reductions of aid for camps. Countries attempt to shirk responsibility by paying asylum seekers hard cash to withdraw their claims. Many are caught between living in a country without dignity versus returning to a country without security.

What does “voluntary” mean when none of your options are good? Is the present climate incentivising sending people back into harm’s way?

Though this project grapples with distressing subject matter, it does not aim to tell a punishing story. In our experience, people undergoing traumas and traveling to new places are never who you expect them to be. They are often funny, always unpredictable, and deeply compelling. Above all, they are heroic, facing impossible decisions and taking action.

We are set to film in the following locations:

  • Karen refugees in Mae Sot, Thailand. This community is dealing with dwindling food rations due to donor fatigue as aid resources relocate to Myanmar and many feel they are being pressured to repatriate, despite ongoing conflict. In Post Production.

  • Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Shot during the announcement of the repatriation deal between Myanmar and Bangladesh. In Post Production/Subtitling.

  • Afghan refugees in Peshawar, Pakistan. Following the 2016 push from the Pakistani government to return refugees through pressure tactics like expiring registration cards and police crack downs. In Post Production/Subtitling.

  • Syrian refugees in Lebanon, sitting and waiting as the local government, UNHCR, Hezbollah, Assad and Russia vie for authority over when and under what conditions they can, or should, return to a country with questionable security. In Production.

  • Iraqis in Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan, who have returned from Europe to a country they've previously fled from. In Pre-Production.

  • Resettlements in Lesvos, Greece - 1st Production Stage Wrapped, 2nd in research phase

  • Returnees from Pakistan and Europe in Kabul, Afghanistan. In Pre-Production for 2nd Stage Funding.

  • Asylum seekers in Germany and Sweden who are either being deported on questionable legal grounds or considering accepting the cash incentives offered by their respective host countries to 'voluntarily' repatriate. In Pre-Production.

Who is creating this project?

Anna is a cinematographer and photographer whose work has been published in Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, the New York Times, i-D, Polyester Zine, CRACK Mag, Oyster Mag and more. She is a video contributor at Getty Images.

Shireen is an editor who has created awareness campaigns and promotional pieces for non-profits like The Nature Conservancy and Great Public Schools Now. She also has worked on documentary films about refugees, culture, and film.

Chiara is a screenwriter whose most recent work was featured on the 2017 Black List, and who has previously written screenplays for producer Tanya Seghatchian and director David Fincher. She directs documentaries, as well as short content for nonprofit organizations, including consulting at the United Nations.

Other members of Somewhere Films will be contributing along the way! You can read about them here.

What will your donation go towards?

Your donations will go towards production and post production costs. Mostly the money will go towards hiring local fixers and translators at reasonable day rates, security if necessary, video transcription, subtitles, scoring and color grading.

In order to continue producing these projects in a manner that does justice to the subjects and ensures the safety of everyone involved, we’re now looking to you, patrons of the arts and humanities, to lend us a helping hand!

Additionally, we will offer the NGOs with whom we work a promotional/explainer video, using footage we capture as we shoot Home Is Where The War Is. The video will outline that organisation’s project, and they will have the ability to place this spot wherever they choose, in order to raise awareness or funds. The Somewhere Films team had great success with this model at Mosaik, a center for refugees and locals on Lesvos.

Recent posts by Somewhere Films

Tiers
Pledge $1 or more per month
$1 or more per month 1 patron
You get access to the Patron-only feed where we'll post updates and try to keep everyone informed. You also get your name in the credits! Your name will be listed in the credits after all our productions, and it will be on our website SomewhereFilms.com in our special thanks section.
Pledge $3 or more per month
$3 or more per month 0 patrons
With this much you get artist features and travel diaries which feature behind the scenes photos and stories of the documentary productions in progress.   
Pledge $5 or more per month
$5 or more per month 2 patrons
Want to dive deeper? You will get detailed posts about the people, timelines, conflicts and policies surrounding the issues we are covering, as well as our reading lists and resources.
Pledge $10 or more per month
$10 or more per month 0 patrons
You get info on where specifically your money is going! We’ll give you profiles on the fixers and translators we hire and meet on the road. Without them, documentaries like ours would never be able to even start. 
Pledge $20 or more per month
$20 or more per month 4 patrons
You will get everything else plus special preview segments of the documentary we have shot and edited thus far!