Join in the search for the mysterious St Sarah, discover the roots that bind these ancient people who prevail in the face of adversity. Read more
This project's funding goal was not reached on January 17, 2013.
About this project
When we started out making this exciting documentary about the Gypsy festival in the Camargue, the gypsies, who are one of the most persecuted people in history, were once again being threatened. President Sarkozy had offered them €300 each to leave France voluntarily. Those who declined his offer had to watch while bulldozers destroyed their homes. I had already been over in France and started work on the film so I felt outraged and at the same time a great deal of compassion for the people and characters I had come to love & trust.
If like us you value freedom, self-expression in music and dance, tribal traditions and those who live in harmony with our natural resources, then please join us. Your collaboration will result in the creation of this inspiring documentary that might help change people's perceptions of the gypsies.
While filming the pilgrimage, I became fascinated by the mysterious story of the Gypsy Saint Sarah. Following in her trail laid down by the eminent Gypsy scholar Prof Ian Hancock, I was led back through time to mediaeval India.
Every year the sleepy seaside town of Les Saints Maries de-la-Mer hosts the lavish Gypsy pilgrimage. The town is governed by local mayor Roland Chassain who grew up in Saint Maries. The mayor is a vociferous opponent of the gypsies. The aim of this documentary is to discover alongside a timeline of present persecution the roots that bind this ancient tribe.
Sarah-la-Kali, Sarah the black, is the patron saint of the Gypsies. Is this a reference to the Indian goddess Kali due to the fact that the Romani originated in Northern India? Every year they gather in the Camargue to dance, play music and worship Sarah. An ancient Provencal legend relates that two thousand years ago a small boat containing a precious cargo landed at Les Saintes Maries de-la-Mer. Did the boat contain a Mary Magdalene; Mary Jacobe and Mary Salome?
Who is the mysterious Sarah-la-Kali? A gypsy tribal Queen? The shaman who welcomed the Mary's to the shores of the Camargue? A servant who arrived with the Mary's on a boat that set sail from the Kingdom of Judah? Or perhaps she is an echo of the radiant Indian mother goddess, a manifestation of the divine feminine?
The heart of this exciting documentary is the epic, sacred ceremony itself, where the effigy of the Gypsy Goddess Sarah and the Christian Saints Mary Jacobe and Mary Salome are lowered into the church on vines garlanded with flowers to the cry of “Vive Sainte Sarah”. Accompanied by the breathtaking guard of the Camargue on graceful chalk white horses, she is taken to the sea with all of the jostling procession to bless the azure blue waters.
Now we need your help to unravel the mystery. The next step is to interview Romani historians and other experts to uncover St Sarah’s ancient roots. We are fortunate to have Espresso TV on-board as our international distributor and now need to raise £44 000 to finish the filming, editing and postproduction to the highest broadcast specifications. With your help and the money that you pledge we will complete a one-hour TV documentary for international broadcast and film festivals.
We can only finish our film with your help. You are now a co-creator and as much a part of it as we are.
You can help by spreading the word to others. Share this link,“Like” us on Facebook, please email this Kickstarter link to your friends, family, colleagues, co-workers, teammates and everybody else.
Feel most welcome to email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org to ask us questions, get more information, and become involved in the making of Gypsyland on our gypsyland.co.uk website:
We will keep you updated every step of the way.
In telling St Sarah’s story we might begin to break down the barriers of prejudice that have been built around these people. Your pledge will give these incredible people the voice they deserve.
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Risks and challenges
Kickstarter is the world's largest crowd funding website for creative projects and now it’s in the UK. The way it works is that we have to achieve our funding goal before the campaign expires or we don’t get a penny & your money will be refunded to you.
Working to a tight budget without the luxury of a contingency has its challenges. Many of the crew have already given their time freely and during the next round of filming, travel and accommodation will be on a shoestring. We will have to fit the editing, track-laying and final on-line around the busy editors & post production house schedules. This might push our delivery time back. We'll be in constant contact with you so you'll know right away if we are running a bit behind.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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