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At the beginning of the year the Guardian published a letter from me, in which I drew attention to the lack of funding for independent documentaries in the UK. As most people who work in the industry know, virtually every independent documentary only gets completed because of the vast number amount of unpaid labour of the filmmakers. And it is in the final stages of production that everyone’s resources get strained to the limit.

Three films which I have been supporting for several years are in this position now and have launched crowd funding appeals to help get the film over the next hurdle to completion.

I know that quite a few of the readers will still be in the category of impoverished documentary makers themselves, so you can stop reading now. But some may have emerged the other side and some may feel affluent enough to give a small amount of money to one of these projects—all of which can play a part in making the world a better place. So please read on.

ON OUR DOORSTEP needs to raise just £2000 to meet the final editing costs and the cost of music. The film tells the story of the grassroots movement which at the height of the 2015 refugee crisis went to France to help in what became known as the Calais “Jungle”. Those stranded there were fleeing war, poverty and persecution and seeking safety in Europe. But with the British Government paying millions to the French authorities to secure the border, most refugees were left stranded, with no legal or safe passage to the UK. This film is the untold story of the volunteers who went to help in the Jungle. It is an intimate behind-the-scenes insight into the daily lives of the volunteers, the people they met in the camp, the community they built together and their fight to demand human rights be met and adequate provisions be made. It is moving, funny and enraging. Although the Jungle has gone, the refugee crisis has not. The need to rebuild empathy across society, borders and nations could not be greater. So this is a very timely film.  There are five days for the filmmakers to reach their target.


ONE MAN AND HIS SHOES tells the story of the phenomenon of the Air Jordan sneakers—named after basketball player Michael Jordan—showing their social, cultural and racial significance and how ground-breaking marketing strategies created a multi-billion-dollar business. But it is also a story with a dark side—manufacturer Nike's high price tag and genius marketing strategy has fuelled a demand so high that since 1989, young people have killed and been killed for a pair. Nike has turned a blind eye. This film is a parable of America's dark love affair with consumer capitalism and celebrity culture. And may just help stir Nike into action.


Filmed over 13 years I AM BELMAYA charts the story of Belmaya Nepali who, inspired by a photography course as a young teenager, becomes a filmmaker. As she films life in her village and family and gets a commission to make a short film, her confidence grows so that she can challenge her oppressive husband and the patriarchal society around her. Partly filmed by Belmaya herself and including some remarkable scenes of life in Nepal, this is a uplifting film in which a young woman takes charge of her life.


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