Campagne de financement du projet documentaire : Sahel Calling ("L'Appel du Sahel")

Genre : Cultural projects
Contact details Franziska Hoffmann Communications Assistant Sahel Calling Team Berlin
Principal country concerned : Column : Cinema/tv
Release/publication date : 2013
Published on : 22/01/2013
Source : Communiqué de presse
Contact by email

"Raising the voice of the silenced." Help the people of Mali by helping us make our film, Sahel Calling, about human rights and the musicians who defend them.

*SPECIAL NOTICE: Since the war has started:

The Sahel Calling Projects wants to assure our friends and supporters that the directors will be taking great caution in only traveling to those countries and regions which are not deemed high-risk. The Sahel Calling crew will not be going into the north of Mali, or into any active combat zones. Sahel Calling reviews security situation updates on a constant basis.

The Caravan for Peace & Unity has not been canceled, and even if it is, there will still be concerts in Bamako to capture, as well as the 3-day festival in Burkina Faso. Further, the directors plan to travel with musicians to refugee camps, families with internally displaced persons and other locales - no matter whether there is the caravan, or not.

1. What is Sahel Calling?

2. Why do we need 13.200 € ($17,400) and what do you get for helping out?

3. How will Sahel Calling help improve the situation?

4. How is Sahel Calling different from other film projects?

5. Our challenges

1. What is Sahel Calling?

Sahel Calling is a film project to raise awareness about the refugees, internally-displaced persons and the people living in the conflict-affected areas of Mali and the Sahel.

The project is inspired by the musicians in the region who are risking their lives by singing and speaking about the humanitarian crisis and the violation of human rights.

We need your support to bring our film crew to Mali and West Africa to make a documentary which will bring much needed attention to the humanitarian crisis and human rights violations; music has been banned, cultural artifacts destroyed, families are being separated, children are being recruited into armed combat, and a long list of human rights violations occur every day...and we want the world to know!

To appeal to a global and diverse audience, and as not to completely depress our viewers, the film will focus on the incredibly brave and promising work that local musicians are doing to raise awareness and assist the refugees, internally displaced persons and people living in the conflict-affected areas in Mali and the Sahel.

The film MUST be made in February 2013, for this is when a group of musicians will create a "Caravan of Peace of Unity" across the region which Sahel Calling will help broadcast to the world.

All of the film team members have intimate connections to Mali and the Sahel - this project is personal for us.

Donate, and spread the teaser video, so that we can get the documentary started before more lives are lost or ruined, and before more voices are silenced.

2. Why do we need 13.200 € ($17,400) and what do you get for helping out?

We need 13.200 € ($17,400) as the minimum to get the two directors on the ground in Mali, to feed them, and to keep them safe with a small personal security detail (the threat of kidnapping and other violence is high).

All of our perks are related to Mali and the Sahel - and each one of them is meant to bring you closer to the rich, beautiful music and culture of the region. In fact, for a donation of 7.740 € ($10,000), we'll fly you to somewhere safe in the region so you can experience the magic yourself!

If you cannot donate, PLEASE help spread the word by passing on our teaser video, and using the indiegogo share tools, thanks!

We hope to raise 10.000 € ($13,200) on indiegogo, and 3.200 € ($4,200) on indiegogo - version francaise (because we would like to serve our West African and French constituents in their own language).

If you do not have paypal and/or would prefer to do a bank transfer to an American, European or West African bank, please contact us at

3. How will Sahel Calling help improve the situation?
Sahel Calling has three goals:

1. to raise awareness about the people negatively affected by the crisis

2. to inspire more action by ordinary citizens in donating their time or money

3. to turn up the volume on the brave voice of musicians, globally

For more details on our goals and how we will know whether we have been successful (measurable project objectives), see the links at bottom of this page.

4. How is Sahel Calling different from other film projects?

It's interactive! join the project here:

We have global advisory and guidance groups comprised of people from NGOs, the music industry and other regional groups who give us guidance and how to remain current, safe, apolitical and areligious.

We have had a generous and impressive amount of work, services and products donated to us in order to help us build the project and make the teaser video!

Sahel Calling happens in real-time. It is not a documentary about something that has happened, or will happen, rather we will capture reality as it happens, and then help reverberate that reality out into the world.

Already internationally active! We have already been doing work in NYC, Berlin (Germany), Nouakchott (Mauritania) and Dakar (Sénégal)...not to mention a whole lot of other places!

5. Our challenges

Because the "main event" of our film starts at the beginning of February, we need money RIGHT NOW to buy plane tickets, and have enough leftover to assure food for the crew, and hire competent security forces to keep us safe. The caravan lasts about 3 weeks.

With 3.200 € ($4,000), we can have one local camera person shoot interviews and concerts in Bamako only (not join the caravan or visit villages or camps for refugees and displaces persons).

With 7.000 € ($9,000), we can send one director, rent him a videocamera, feed him, house him, get him a driver and keep him safe.

With 11.000 € ($14,000), we can send both directors and care for them.

With 13.200 € ($17,400), we can send both directors, and hire a local camera person to film just the musicians in Bamako.

With 20.000€($26,000), we can send both directors, hire a local camera person for Bamako, and get another camera/sound person to follow the caravan.

With 27.000€ ($36,000), we can send both directors, both camera/sound people and the producer

(this is the ideal scenario for capturing the work of the musicians on the caravan, in the villages and in the camps for refugees and displaced persons).

With any more than 27.000€ ($36,000), we can pay the musicians for their time, hire an official translator, send a field production assistant to help with logistics, pay a project assistant to keep the entire project going while the producer is on the ground, and put the money towards post-production (the actual editing and making of the film) - for which we have not yet begun raising money.

After our emergency funding need, our biggest challenges will of course be: 1) to remain safe while on the ground and 2) to produce a documentary that will bring awareness about the people in need as well as empower the musicians - with a style and voice that does not further endanger their lives and those of their families.

We continue to apply to larger grants and appeal to groups and individuals to cover our production costs in March and April, but we need money NOW to get the film shot!

For more in-depth information (most of which is not available on our regular website pages) concerning the project, the background of the crisis, our activities, budgets, etc. - please read our "Questions & Answers" here:





Oh, and what happens if you, we, and the world sit back and do nothing?

1) the hardships, threats, and risk of disease and death for people in Mali and the Sahel will continue to go mostly unnoticed by the world media, resulting most likely in the situation further disintegrating

2) the musicians, silenced from their roles as messengers, educators, soothers and peacemakers, will continue to be unable to fulfill their vital social role in being the voice of the voiceless, the hope for the hopeless, the joy for the joyless.

3) with each turn for the worse, we will regret not having done the little which we could have.

Quote, variation of a quote by Martin Niemöller:

First they came for the Malians,

and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Malian.

Then they came for the Touaregs,

and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Touareg.

Then they came for the West Africans,

and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a West African.

Then they came for the musicians,

and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a musician.

Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak.

Sahel Calling gives you the chance, as an individual, to speak up for the voiceless, so that there will be people left to speak for you.

Equipe de ce projet:
Sahel Calling
Maggie Melin
Intagrist El Ansari
Magali Balaud
Kristine Müller
John Mac


  • Arterial network
  • Media, Sports and Entertainment Group (MSE)
  • Gens de la Caraïbe
  • Groupe 30 Afrique
  • Alliance Française VANUATU
  • Zimbabwe : Culture Fund Of Zimbabwe Trust
  • RDC : Groupe TACCEMS
  • Rwanda : Positive Production
  • Togo : Kadam Kadam
  • Niger : ONG Culture Art Humanité
  • Collectif 2004 Images
  • Africultures Burkina-Faso
  • Bénincultures / Editions Plurielles
  • Africiné
  • Afrilivres

With the support of