Slog: Manjinder Virk on With Love From Calais

On February 14th 2016, I decided to go to Calais with a cinematographer friend of mine, Annemarie Lean-Vercoe. We were going to go the now infamous “Jungle” refugee camp. Partly to document what we saw, partly to give donations but also to see with our own eyes what was going on. The camp was continuously in the news at this point. With the help of volunteers we met a family living there who allowed us to film their story. My background being drama, I wanted to create something fictional interwoven with the documentary footage. I was fascinated by the volunteers who had given up careers and their way of life, up until that point to help refugees. Based on real life stories, ‘With Love from Calais’ is about a British woman who goes to volunteer at the camp. After witnessing life there, she is unable to let go of that experience and continue her previous life.

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