For Refugees Athens Video
What was the project?
In 2018 we created a film surrounding the refugee crisis in Athens, and the work of the charity The Salvation Army. They provide practical, emotional and spiritual support to the refugees, many of whom have travelled from Syria and northern African countries. There are now over 60,000 refugees living in Athens, and throughout the city are harrowing scenes of drug abuse, human trafficking, gang violence and extreme poverty. On the trip we met an incredible couple, Maria & Polis who have dedicated their lives to helping others. They’ve given hours of time, care and love to the refugees, rescuing young girls from sex trafficking, helping families to get off the streets and feeding those who have no money for food. It was deeply moving, and in the words of one of the cameramen - “we need more couples like them in this world!”
What was the team and tech?
We had 2 camera men with us for this trip so that we could capture a range of shots. For this project we used our Arri Amira camera with a Canon CN7 lense that enabled us to get close up shots from a significant distance. This was really beneficial as it meant we could capture candid clips of children playing and families interacting together without compromising the shot.
What were the challenges?
It was incredibly upsetting witnessing the level of poverty and distress that the refugees were experiencing in Athens. We were reminded of the enormity of the crisis as we watched thousands of refugees arrive daily at the port with nowhere to go. It can be really challenging to switch into ‘work mode’ when you are acutely aware of the hurt and anger that you feel for a situation, but as a team we wanted to chanel this into the video to show the audience the reality of the situation. We focussed on the human experience of the crisis by interviewing families and sharing their story.
What was the impact of the video?
The film raised over £360,000 to provide relief to those affected, £300,000 of which was raised within the film’s first week.
‘The £300,000 raised from this film exceeded our expectations and Fruitmedia’s commitment produced a film that far exceeded our original vision. They went above and beyond and I can’t say enough good things about them.’
We have been able to hear stories of children from Aleppo and other areas of Syria who have been helped by the Salvation Army Centre in Athens, thanks to the money raised from the video. As a team we were so impacted by what we experienced that we decided to self-fund a broadcast documentary together, detailing the work of the Salvation Army, and the effect that the money from last year’s film has had on the situation.
There is still so much more to do before this crisis is mended, but here at Fruitmedia we feel honoured to be able to tell the stories of those whose voices wouldn’t otherwise be heard, and to help them through fundraising and the power of film.