A documentary: refugee women in the UK fled war, persecution and conflict. Ahead is a struggle to rebuild their lives
About the project
They came from diverse nations and cultures, speaking different tongues. They found a language to share, and to weave their traditions into fresh beginnings – the language of food.
“Tasting my future”
A documentary film by Sylvie Collier and Cathy Maxwell
About this Project
We are making an hour-long documentary film featuring women who fled war, persecution and conflict in their home countries and wound up in the city of Brighton & Hove.
These inspirational women tell of fear, escape, survival and the hope of forging a safe new life. The one thing they share is the pleasure of cooking. They have different backgrounds, beliefs, traditions and national languages, but preparing food and cooking together is a joyful new experience. Tradition and innovation combine in the kitchen as together they make a feast – a feast like no other.
Our leading characters are strong, vibrant women:
Reem is from Iraq. A radiant smile enlivens her face, but there is a flash of horror when she recalls the day a bomb ripped through the Baghdad building where she was working. It killed 18 people and left her with a twisted arm, the fingers numbed.
Dina, who escaped persecution in Egypt, lives on her nerves waiting every day for a letter to tell if she and her children can stay in the UK.
Diala, who fled the horrors of war in Syria, waits to know if she is granted asylum.
Ganat and Zainab, from Ethiopia, endured African refugee camps before they got the chance to come and start afresh in the UK.
Our film features these and other women who fled their home countries thousands of miles away, and today live within a few miles of one another in the city of Brighton & Hove. During the film we find out if Diala is allowed to stay, and what happens to Dina’s request for asylum.
And we discover a melting pot of traditions and flavours when women get together to celebrate their international feast – in Brighton. Kitchens are fragrant and noisy with women's voices speaking in diverse languages. There is laughter, music, singing, story-telling. Women from all kinds of backgrounds, religions and nationalities are chopping, pounding, stirring, boiling, baking. Herbs and spices are tossed and fried. Colours emerge in the pans: red, orange, brown, green.
“Food is a good communication tool. When you are removed from your country you can communicate with people through food, no matter what culture or the country you come from” says Reem.
We would like our film to spark a positive dialogue. We see a negative stereotyping of people who leave troubled nations and seek refuge in the UK. We believe that the women in our film show resilience, humour and enjoyment. Their stories speak of strength of the human spirit in the face of extreme adversity.
Who we are
This film about women is made by women. We are Sylvie Collier and Cathy Maxwell. We are professional independent film-makers with experience in: television broadcast, arts and social documentary for the BBC and other networks, and in education with minority ethnic communities.
What we have done so far:
We have been working with our cast of women from Syria, Iraq, Ethiopia, Kurdistan, Turkey and Egypt over the past nine months. We have paid ourselves nothing but need to raise money to finish this film, which will be one hour in duration: for post production, including final editing, sound design and music. We also need to purchase costly archive news footage. We need a minimum of £2500, but hope that a stretch fund will enable us to add more archive, enable distribution and pay for website design to include the recipes of the dishes cooked in the film.
We have a tight deadline. We have been invited to premiere the film on June 14th, 2015, during Refugee Week, when the city of Brighton & Hove announces that it is becoming a City of Sanctuary, providing welcome to refugees, and celebrating their contribution to society. We then plan to take the film to international festivals, to cinemas and to distribution networks, so that many more people will view it.
Please help us to achieve this!
About the Rewards
As grateful thanks for your backing, your name will be added to the credits in the film (if you so wish).
If you give more than £25 we will offer a dvd of the finished film, and a lot of gratitude!
On behalf of the women in the film, and all the many others seeking asylum, we would like to thank you for your support!