THE SEA BETWEEN US
DOCUMENTARY, MEDIUM LENGHT
LENGHT: 49 min
PRODUCTION COUNTRY: Martinique, Dominica
PRODUCTION YEAR: 2018
LANGUAGE: French, Creole, English
Every year, from June to November, the Caribbean faces the hurricane season.
During this period, the countries of the archipelago become extremely exposed as hurricanes barrel through the region, making landfall in vulnerable small island states.
On September 18th 2017, inhabitants of Martinique hurriedly prepare for the arrival of Maria, a tropical storm which has quickly evolved into a category 3 hurricane. But Martinique will be spared the wrath of the dangerous storm.
In the night of September 18th, the eye of Maria, now a category 5 hurricane, strikes the island of Dominica head-on. For several days following the storm, the country is engulfed in silence, completely cut off from the rest of the world.
Desperate for news of friends and family, a group of people in the neighbouring island of Martinique decide to brave the stormy waters of the Dominican channel to establish communication with the island.
For these Caribbean natives, the sea that lies between them becomes the bridge that connects them together.
THE SEA BETWEEN US AS A TOOL FOR CLIMATE-CHANGE CONVERSATION IN THE CARIBBEAN
Context: Koudmen’s project
Koudmen ba la Dominik was initially a small civilian collective made up of individuals from Dominica and Martinique. The collective was formed after tropical storm Erika in August 2015, a spontaneous effort of solidarity to bring emergency humanitarian relief to Dominica. Thanks to the confounded efforts of over sixty volunteers and the generosity of hundreds of Martinicans and Dominicans, the collective brought over fifteen tons of food and supplies to Dominica by fishing boats and catamaran.
After the passage of Hurricane Maria, the collective became the NGO Koudmen. Its goal: widen the scope of its actions and raise funds to aid to the people of the Caribbean.
The Medical Aid for the Wesley Health Centre project
On one of two reconnaissance missions to Dominica in the days following the storm, Koudmen met with health personnel of the Wesley health centre. The health centre was temporarily housing the A&E unit of the Marigot hospital and now faced additional challenges brought on by the passage of hurricane Maria: increase in patient traffic and very limited space to patient reception and consultation.
Koudmen launched the Medical Aid for the Wesley Health Centre project to target the problem of lack of space at the health centre. Koudmen decided to work in close collaboration with the Ministry of Health and the Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica in order to provide the Wesley Health Center with a medical modular unit. The project was carried out within the framework of sustainable aid in alignment with the government’s post-Maria “rebuild for better” and resiliency goals.
– Raise awareness of the devastating effects of hurricane Maria on the population of Dominica
– use advocacy to draw international attention to the effects of climate change on vulnerable island populations.
How the campaign worked
Koudmen chose to innovate, using eco-efficient film as the major medium for its campaign. It was important that production be eco-responsible and leave as small a footprint as possible. To this end Koudmen partnered with Creativ Sün Films for the production of
– a series of micro films for social media designed to broadcast information in the aftermath of the storm, raise public awareness, drive engagement and ultimately bring individuals to donate to the fundraising campaign. Combined Facebook reach for the first 5 Micro films: 75 258.
– one mid-length documentary: The Sea Between Us.
The Sea Between Us, however was not initially conceived as an “impact film” that would use an outreach and engagement campaign to drive its message. Rather, it was a film that would serve to document the work of the NGO.
The production, marketing and distribution of the film was thus handled independently by Creativ Sün Films in support of Koudmen’s humanitarian work.
The aim being to use a network of NGO’s and supranational entities in the Caribbean and internationally to raise awareness on the effects of climate change and the need to urgently address this issue.
The Sea Between Us premiered internationally at the Sunchild International Environmental Film Festival in July 2018 before premiering in the Caribbean at GREEN FILM FESTIVAL in Trinidad & Tobago in November 2018.
In 2019, several screening are scheduled in collaboration with Caribbean organisations. (Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Dominica, Trinidad & Tobago)
Contact KOUDMEN NGO
Facebook: Association Koudmen