How well do you know your money? Two Vancouver-based filmmakers trace their savings to Canadian mines in Eastern and Southern Africa.
UPDATE!!! Thank you so much for all your support. We've met our goal but please don't let that stop you from contributing! Here's what we can do with a little bit more....
- With $8,500 we can hire a composer to score the film
- With $9,000 we can add a few more minutes of animation
- With $10,000 we can start to cover our entry costs for film festivals
- With more than $10,000 we can start to think about recovering costs associated with the production of the film, such as travel to and within Africa, translation (the film contains more than 5 different languages and dialects!), location fixer per diems, equipment rental & purchase, and research.
We Call Them Intruders
If you live and work in Canada, chances are you’re connected to Canadian mining companies - whether you know it or not - through your savings, taxes, Canada Pension Plan contributions, RRSPs and other investments. We Call Them Intruders (previously titled Plenty's Paradox) is a documentary that travels from Canada to Africa and back again to unearth the stories behind some of the continent’s largest Canadian-owned mining projects. The film brings viewers on a journey, taking a hard look at why communities, governments and corporations are so often pitted against each other in an explosive battle over extracting the earth’s riches.
What is this film about?
This century’s global scramble for metals and minerals has led hundreds of Canadian mining corporations to Africa in search of the next big mine find. In Africa, some of the world’s poorest communities sit right beside mines that generate billions of dollars in profit each year. Many of these mines are financed, in part, by ordinary people paying taxes, putting away savings, making RRSP contributions and paying into pension plans in Canada. But who gets rich off Canadian mines?
We Call Them Intruders begins in Canada, when our main characters discover that their pensions, taxes and investments are supporting Canadian mining companies operating in Africa. Viewers are then taken on a journey to the sites of Canadian-owned mines in Tanzania and Zambia. Set against a backdrop of local sights and sounds, we speak with government officials, community members, industry and corporate representatives, mine workers, independent experts, and non-profit organizations. We find that the situation is more complicated than we first imagined. Back in Canada, we probe into the many ways in which the “average” Canadian invests – often unknowingly – in mining and how we can work towards positive change.
Why is this film important?
From police shootings in the waste rock of African Barrick Gold’s North Mara gold mine in Tanzania, to new schools built by Vancouver-based First Quantum Minerals in Zambia, We Call Them Intruders probes deeply into questions, complexities and contradictions surrounding big mining in small-town Africa. It asks what jobs, wealth and other benefits Canadian mines bring to African communities. And it looks at why some mines have left a trail of conflict, poverty and environmental devastation in their wake.
These questions are particularly important to those of us who live and work in Canada because we are investors in Canadian mines operating overseas. As investors, we have the power to raise our voices together and call for changes. The goal of We Call Them Intruders is to bring stories from communities facing Canadian mines in Africa to television screens, community halls, film festivals and schools. We want to contribute to ongoing campaigns to raise awareness of how we finance mining companies and spark discussions of what we need to do differently. We also want to make sure that Canadian mines in Africa get as much coverage and attention as mines in other parts of the world.
And in case you're still not convinced (or, why we need your help).
This is a passion-project, not a profit-project. We self-funded our trip to Africa because we wanted to see what was happening on the ground and share what we learned. Everything that we raise will go directly into paying other people to help us make an amazing film: A finishing editor, a sound mixer, an animator, a composer, translators and (last but certainly not least) a lawyer. Many people have donated their time and work to this project along the way because they believe that this story needs to be shared, but we need funding to get us over the final filmmaking hurdle.
It takes a community to make a film.
In 2012, we won the prestigious Cuban Hat Pitch at the Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM) because our project generated the most support from the online and in-person audiences and the film industry. Our prize includes post-production services generously contributed by Post-Moderne that will give our finished product great titling and a polished look. We're almost finished our film, but we need some more work before we bring our film to the Post-Moderne studio.
We are proudly producing our film through Cinécoop Productions. Cinécoop is a bilingual cooperative film production company based in Montreal, Québec that envisions a world where great films inspire the best in people. We are also proud to be using Dana.io, a Vancouver-based not-for-profit alternative to commercial crowdfunding platforms.