Dutch-Gambian co-production launches crowdfunding campaign

Dutch-Gambian co-production launches crowdfunding campaign


AMSTERDAM/SERRAKUNDA – Dutch filmmaking duo Bas Ackermann and Emiel Martens, in collaboration with Gambian media production house State of Mic, have launched a crowdfunding campaign for Gifts from Babylon, a new short fiction film about illegal migration from Africa to Europe. They aim to collect €10.000 to be able to record the film in The Gambia by the end of the year.   


Last year Ackermann and Martens achieved their first success with Welcome to the Smiling Coast, a feature-length documentary about tourism in The Gambia. Together with State of Mic, once initiated by Ackermann but now headed by Alhagie and Babucarr Manka, they made the film out of their own pockets and without any form of subsidy during a period of eight years. Welcome to the Smiling Coast eventually experienced its world premiere at the Pan African Film Festival (PAFF) in Los Angeles, the biggest black film festival in the United States, and has since been shown at over forty international film festivals and other specialized events worldwide.

Their new film project could be seen as the sequel to Welcome to the Smiling Coast. Gifts from Babylon will be a short fiction film about the impact of illegal Africa-EU migration through the eyes of Amadou, a Gambian return migrant. The film captures the personal and cultural conflicts that arise when Amadou returns to his home country after having lived illegally in Europe for five years. Earlier this year Ackermann and Martens won the ‘Your Movie Matters’ pitch competition of Movies that Matter, the well-known human rights film festival in The Hague, The Netherlands. The prize consisted of €3.000, made available by the municipality of The Hague, and assistance with a crowdfunding campaign at Cinecrowd to gather the rest of the budget.

The crowdfunding campaign for Gifts from Babylon started last week and has collected over €3.000 within the first week. Ackermann: ‘Over thirty supporters from all over the world have already made a donation. We are thrilled to get so much instant support. It also indicates that the topic of our film is topical and urgent. The human impact of the refugee crisis, both in Europe as in the countries of origin, such as The Gambia, often gets forgotten. With Gifts from Babylon we want to change this. We really hope to crowdfund the money we need to make this important film. All bits and pieces, big or small, help us to reach our goal within forty days.’

The crowdfunding campaign of Gifts from Babylon runs until Friday, November 10th. Donations can be made through cinecrowd.com/gifts-from-babylon. More information about the film, including a teaser and video message of the filmmakers, can be found at giftsfrombabylon.com.

Information available for download here (Press Release)

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