As children, Mohamed and Bilal were deceived by the myth of the European Dream and, in a scenario with which we are sadly familiar, made the dangerous journey from Africa, unaccompanied. Now, as young adults, their lives have become even more precarious as they have lost the right to state support.
However, a new social initiative by NGO BarcelonActua offers them the opportunity to live with local families. This relationship between young people and their unlikely new housemates takes on a meaning far beyond shelter and company. Now they have the opportunity to work towards their goals without having to worry about meeting their basic needs.
Description of the project. Main features, strengths and differentials.
MORE THAN A ROOF is a short documentary that tells the stories of Mohammed, a young man who left Ghana and his family when he was only 13 years old, and of Bilal who migrated from Morocco when he was only 10 years old.
What differentiates this short film from others is that the protagonists have experienced the dangerous journey first-hand and have experienced what it is like to live in Spain with the harmful label of 'MENA' (an unaccompanied child migrant). Despite their very difficult situation, they both show a great deal of resilience, and the documentary captures them at a key moment in their lives.
Our short film has the following objectives:
1 - Challenge the stereotype faced by young inmigrants, offering an alternative narrative.
2 - Create awareness about the high risk of social exclusion and homelessness of this group. Throughout 2019, 1,100 immigrant minors under state protection in Catalonia, turned 18 years old. Without enough social housing and unable to work, in just three years the number of homeless young people living in shelters in Barcelona has doubled.
3 - Attract prospective families to the BarcelonActua ‘Host Family’ initiative, as these families can be a great practical solution to this problem. There are currently 90 young people living in the BarcelonActua hostels who can benefit from this initiative. To date, the NGO has successfully attracted the support of 7 families, and they have seen great results.
Why this is important
We recognised the racist treatment that this group receives and began to learn about the legal and bureaucratic situation that leaves them in a no-win situation.
We knew that we had to get to know some of the young guys who BarcelonaActua supports and tell their side of the story, as their voice is not heard in the debate. We began to create this documentary, with the intention of introducing the audience to individuals that they could relate to and raise awareness of their daily reality.
We started shooting as a self-funded, small team. Now we need your help to get the stories of Mohammed and Bilal heard.
WHO THIS PROJECT IS FOR
This project will appeal to all those who share an interest in knowing the stories of the anonymous immigrants we pass on the street or who are sat opposite us on the train, of those young people who, when they were children, left their families to achieve something better and found their hands tied.
It is also aimed at those people who want to show solidarity with immigrants and learn about BarcelonActua's ‘Host Family’ project, since the documentary gives a personal view of this house share.
We invite individuals, entities and organizations that feel committed to supporting this group that faces so much racism and hostility to be part of this project.
Finally, we also address all those documentary lovers who understand culture as a tool for social change.
We are an international team of independent filmmakers. The executive producers on this project are OTOXO Productions.
Otoxo has been producing independent social documentaries for more than a decade. They produce for television and the media, both in Spain and internationally.
Our latest documentary is called LA LUCHA LIMPIA, also produced by OTOXO Productions.
LA LUCHA LIMPIA unmasks the dark side of Barcelona's hotel industry by following Las Kellys, the union formed by hotel cleaners to fight their exploitative conditions.
Roberta and Rachel are from the UK and have been living in Barcelona for 8 and 5 years, respectively. Olivia is from Australia and lived in Barcelona for a year and is now working on the project remotely from Australia.