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A documentary film about the son of a Tuareg Chief & their ancient Saharan culture caught in the midst of the global War on Terror.
142 backers pledged $21,472 to help bring this project to life.

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$21,472

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WE DID IT!!! THANK YOU ALL for YOUR generous support of “Behind the Blue Veil”!!! We would love to bring the film to the LARGEST AUDIENCE POSSIBLE and WE STILL HAVE TIME to do it here. If you were waiting until the end to contribute and share the campaign with your friends, please still do! Any funds we can raise above our goal, will allow us to reach more people with the film via screenings and distribution. The best way to spread the word is to directly SHARE THE CAMPAIGN LINK VIA EMAIL with friends who care about sharing the story of the ancient Tuareg culture and the threat on their indigenous rights. THANK YOU AGAIN!!!

BEHIND THE BLUE VEIL is a feature-length documentary film going behind the headlines of the War on Terror in the Sahara following Mamatal, the son of a Tuareg Chief, who is on a mission to save his people before they disappear. But when the Mali Government collapses, he, and his people, find themselves caught in the middle of an international crisis-- a battle between Tuareg rebels fighting for independence and Al Qaeda in the Islamic Mahgreb who are bent on occupying the Sahara to plot future terrorist attacks in the region and against the US and Europe.

This compelling documentary by Emmy winning Producer/Director Robyn Symon is the first exclusive look behind the international headlines of the crisis in the Sahara, exposing government corruption and neglect of an indigenous people who might be the only hope for defeating Islamic radicals in the region.

Mamatal & family in campament.
Mamatal & family in campament.

OUR STORY. We began filming in 2011 with the idea of following Mamatal deep into the Sahara Desert beyond Timbuktu for a rare look at the extreme poverty faced by the once noble Tuareg. We spent weeks with Mamatal, his family, and community, learning about the Tuareg way of life and his hopes to save their endangered culture. Sipping tea under the stars and sharing stories as we filmed, our appreciation for the Tuaregs’ beautiful way of life grew deeper and deeper.

However, a year after we returned from our time with Mamatal, a group of Tuareg rebels known as MNLA found themselves suddenly in a position of strength. Aided with fighters and weapons flowing out of Libya coupled with willing and armed Islamic militants, MNLA launched their most offensive rebellion to date against the Malian government. Chaos quickly ensued. Military leaders in Bamako staged a coup and ousted the President of Mali over charges of corruption and fear that their men could not hold back the rebellion.

In an ever more dramatic turn of events, the Islamic extremists took advantage of the weak Malian State and lesser-armed Tuaregs and began suppressing the local populations under Sharia law. They quickly squashed the Tuareg rebellion with the goal of using the country as a base for training and planning attacks against the West forcing hundreds of thousands of Tuareg refugees, including the subjects of our film, to flee for safety.

Given the turn of events, the scope of the film shifted from the plight of the nomadic Tuareg to a much larger, timely story about the growing threat of terrorism in the Sahara, how it began, and how it could have been avoided. Most importantly, Behind the Blue Veil asks how addressing the longstanding Tuareg grievances may lead to ridding the region of the Islamic militants.

URGENCY. The crisis in the Sahara with Al Qaeda has opened the world’s eyes to the growing threat of terrorism, making this film extremely relevant and urgent to release. Told in an emotionally compelling way with visually stunning photography, the film gives viewers a better understanding of the root causes of the crisis from the Tuareg themselves—a voice often overshadowed in mainstream dialogue. We must take advantage of the media spotlight on the region NOW to help forge solutions for this important endangered culture, as well as our own security.

Film expert, Rudy Atallah, CEO of White Mountain Research & Former Dir. of Africa Counter Terrorism, Secretary of Defense
Film expert, Rudy Atallah, CEO of White Mountain Research & Former Dir. of Africa Counter Terrorism, Secretary of Defense

WHAT WE NEED NOW. Now we are at a crucial point to raise finishing funds to get this film out to the public, before it is too late. Misunderstanding of the Tuareg and their ancient culture will not only lead to the loss of a potential ally, but, even more deadly, that civilian Tuaregs will face violent retribution in the form of ethnic cleansing given the situation in the North.

We seek to raise $20,000 this month to complete Post Production, which will include color correction to give the film an even, rich look that you see with feature films which is critical to elevate the production value to improve distribution opportunities; a final audio mix; securing music rights for original Tuareg music; and a distribution plan including screenings in key cities. Major screenings lead to greater press coverage and awareness about the human side of this story and can have an extremely beneficial impact.

Limited Edition print of camel silhouette on 40x30 canvas PERK.
Limited Edition print of camel silhouette on 40x30 canvas PERK.

WHAT YOU RECEIVE. Our fabulous PERKS include Handmade Jewelry from Salah (the boy featured in our film) and his family crafted with the support of FACES at the refugee camp in Burkina Faso. Other PERKS include a gorgeous print on canvas of the Camel in Silhouette, a Limited Edition Poster, and Pre-Release copy of the DVD and much more!

Your donation is also tax-deductible! Behind the Blue Veil is fiscally sponsored by the non-profit organization FACES in Miami, FL. Your contributions to the film, beyond the cost of any perks, are tax-deductible to the full extent provided by law (and you need to itemize your taxes). If you don't select a perk, the full amount is deductible! FACES will send you a letter of receipt for your taxes.

Samples of the gorgeous handmade jewelry PERK made by Salah's family.
Samples of the gorgeous handmade jewelry PERK made by Salah's family.

WHERE WE WILL GO FROM HERE. We believe the film will make a very big contribution to the conversation about how not only to help the Tuareg live peacefully in their land and preserve their culture, but address the larger issue about indigenous people marginalized by their governments in the race to modernity. This film is already having a huge impact at the US Dept. of Defense who may use the film for cultural sensitivity training at embassies and governmental agencies throughout Africa.

We want to thank everyone for caring and participating in the campaign. Crowdfunding is a phenomenal tool that puts the power back in people’s hands–to force attention on subjects that are too often ignored by commercial broadcast outlets. We have a chance to help the Tuareg and stabilize a dangerous region protecting ourselves from future terrorist attacks.

Risks and challenges

A challenge for "Behind the Blue Veil" is not reaching the largest audience possible in a timely manner. If this story is not told we will have missed a perfect opportunity while the spotlight is on this region.

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    FRIENDS (IMIDIWAN). We'll give you a big thanks on all our social media outlets.

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    CREDIT ROLL. Name listed in credits & a big thanks on all our social media outlets.

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    BEHIND THE BLUE VEIL. Exclusive PRE-RELEASE filmmaker signed copy of the DVD & name listed in credits.

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    Pledge $55 or more About $55

    POSTER + DVD. Originally designed Behind the Blue Veil wall poster, exclusive PRE-RELEASE filmmaker signed copy of the DVD , & name listed in credits.

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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    TRANSFORMATION. Exclusive PRE-RELEASE filmmaker signed copy of DVD plus a copy of Symon Productions' critically acclaimed film, "Transformation: The Life & Legacy of Werner Erhard," & name listed in credits.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    NOSTALGIA (ASSOUF). 8x10 high gloss print of Tuareg/Camel silhouette, exclusive PRE-RELEASE filmmaker signed copy of the DVD, & name listed in credits.

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    Pledge $85 or more About $85

    DESERT BEAUTY. Authentic, handmade Tuareg earrings or necklaces made by FACES NGO artisan collective in Burkina Faso refugee camp; exclusive PRE-RELEASE filmmaker signed copy of the DVD; & name listed in credits.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    TUAREG STORY. A copy of Jeremy Keenan's "The Dark Sahara: America's War on Terror in Africa" with a personal note from the Director, exclusive PRE-RELEASE filmmaker signed copy of the DVD, & name listed in credits.

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    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    BLUE VEIL (TAGELMUST). Get your own indigo-dyed blue veil from Burkina Faso, exclusive PRE-RELEASE filmmaker signed copy of the DVD, & name listed in credits.

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    LEATHER TREASURE. Handmade, sundried leather Tuareg cushion from Burkina Faso, exclusive PRE-RELEASE filmmaker signed copy of the DVD, & name listed in credits.

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    Pledge $350 or more About $350

    SKYPE CALL WITH FILM TEAM. It's your chance to ask Salah, Mohamed (Salah's father), & Robyn everything you wanted to know in a one-hour Skype call; exclusive PRE-RELEASE filmmaker signed copy of the DVD; & name listed in credits.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    CAMEL GALLERY PRINT. Limited edition 20x25 gallery quality print of camel silhouette from our shoot (numbered series & signed by Director of Photography), exclusive PRE-RELEASE filmmaker signed copy of the DVD, & name listed in credits.

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    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    BLUE VEIL PARTNER. Name/Corporate Logo listed in special thanks on full screen at end of the film, website, & DVD case; big social media thanks; & exclusive PRE-RELEASE filmmaker signed copy of the DVD.

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    CARAVAN. Private screening and Q&A with filmmaker and character/expert; Name/Corporate Logo listed in special thanks on full screen at end of the film, website, & DVD case; big social media thanks; & exclusive PRE-RELEASE filmmaker signed copy of the DVD. Filmmaker to cover travel cost in US up to $500.

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    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER CREDIT. Executive Producer credit in film; film poster; your own indigo-dyed blue veil from Burkina Faso; big social media thanks; & exclusive PRE-RELEASE filmmaker signed copy of the DVD.

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Funding period

- (30 days)