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  • Event in Lisbon

    The Sandgrains Team has been invited by Pong-Pesca and Associação Caboverdeana to present the project in Lisbon. More than 80 people attended the event and most of them staid on for the traditional Cape Verdean dinner and music. The event ended with a long and felt discussion about the topic of the film and with an invite for us to return to lisbon for the launch of Sandgrains in Portugal. For those with Facebook here is a gallery by the photographer os the hosts.

    A special thanks goes to Gonçalo Carvalho, Catarina Grilo for organizing the event, and to Helena Pimentel for her simultaneous translations!

    Thanks to all those that came to see the new screener and the photo exhibition by Francesca.

  • By Shark Divers - Refreshing Documentary Work

    This is what Shark Diver writes about Sandgrains:
    'We tend to admire and promote those who take the craft of documentary work with all the seriousness it deserves and Sandgrains is one of those well crafted works that deserves a first, second, and third look."

    if you want to check it out visit this link

  • Guest blogging with Greenpeace

    Gabriel's guest blog on the Greenpeace site!

    Fish tales from the high seas of Senegal

  • Production in Brussels

    At the end of April we have been filming in Brussels to interview politicians and lobbyist working on influencing the Common Fisheries Reform. Super Thanks to Jo Jo Lam that has been our camera operator and Christophe Van Der Eecken who took the job of making the photo backstage,

  • Sandgrains @ Feng Sushi

    Come to the Sandgrains event @ Feng Sushi, Borough Market, on Sunday the 22nd between 3.30 and 5.30pm! There will be sneak previews of unreleased footage, a photoexhibition of Cape Verdean sand miners, and of course some sustainably sourced sushi.

    Feng Sushi blog

  • The photo stories from Cape Verde

    Hello everybody! I'm glad to share with you my latest photo-stories from Cape Verde.

    Both of the stories are the local perspective of a complex and global topic: the European and the Asian market are exploiting and heavily fishing in African seas.

    Those stories would not have been realized without the help of many of you, throught crowdfunding and crowdsourcing in the last months on our platform.

    The photo-essays were realized in co-production with the documentary 'Sandgrains', now in post-production.

    Have a look at the two photo galleries 'The sand of Ja  and 'Sandgrains'

    by Francesca Tosarelli

  • Gabriel's work log Sweden

    Part of co-direrctor Gabriel's work log from the production of Sandgrains, shot by his family home in Sweden. We are reaching the very end of our phase of shooting, with only two days left of production in Brussels and Gothenburg. Gabriel was in Sweden to organize some of that and to hand over the project to our editor Naiara Seara Romaña in Eskilstuna, near Stockholm. 

  • Unregulated Shark Fishing in Cape Verde

    As this is our last production update from Cape Verde and West Africa, we would like to share a discovery with you which we made during our stay in Mindelo, on the island of Sao Vicente. We decided to not go public with our progress because we needed to investigate something that has been proved to be a legal mess allowing unregulated and destructive fishing practices.

    The European Union has an agreement with Cape Verde to fish highly migratory species, namely tuna. But Spanish and Portuguese vessels actually target sharks because of the high value of their fins on the Asian markets. This is done at the fringes of what is legal but it's having dramatic consequences on the local population. It is not illegal because the agreements are unclear and can be interpreted in various ways. But what we know for sure is that this practice goes against the foundation of the agreement, where it is stated that European fishing vessels should work sustainably and not have an impact on resources targeted by locals.

    Sharks are top predators and removing them has effects on the entire food chain in the area. Smaller fish that would prefer to be in the open ocean stay close to shore to find refuge from the sharks. Those smaller species that have disappeared mysteriously are what locals have caught for centuries. The pressure created by sharks is now so weak that fish which used to shelter by shore now freely roam the open ocean. Local fishermen can't reach their target species unless they go far out with their little boats (which can have lethal consequences) and shoals are now in reach of international vessels, which can vacuum them up without having to take the risk of fishing them illegally within the 12 mile exclusion zone.

    In 2009 the port of Mindelo saw 1400 tons of shark and shark fins. In the following year transshipment of shark products had more than doubled to 3200 tons, and by 2011 this reached 12.000 tons. These numbers are an indication of how worrying the whole situation is but don't represent the entire scale because much fishing remains unreported.

    Here you can see the photo gallery for a glimpse of what we filmed during that week of investigation.

  • On the Greenpeace Vessel in West Africa

    On the 25th of February Jordie and Gabriel left Cape Verde to join a Greenpeace vessel near Dakar. The Arctic Sunrise was exploring the seas of West Africa to identify and document supertrawler fishing activities. José was with us and we experienced first-hand the impact of these massive oceanic fish factories. A supertrawler looks like a floating skyscraper; they measure 140 meters in length and can catch up  to 250 tons per day. We often saw them fishing in networked groups of nine to identify and scoop up gigantic schools of fish in their entirety. Nothing remains after they pass, aside from a cloud of hungry seagulls.

    Our 8 days aboard the ship were used to film action sequences with inflatable rib boats and a helicopter flying around the trawlers. We got key interviews with campaigners that allow us to show the global aspect of the localized stories we had been following in Cape Verde. On a personal note we will never forget this experience; Jordie had his worst days of all of production being battered by sea sickness, while Gabriel came home euphoric for having fulfilled his dream of filming from a helicopter and with fond memories of the dolphins who would gather around our ship at night.

    Here is the photo gallery by Pierre Gleizes.
    and here you can find a short extract of our helicopter landing on the ship.

    All photos copyright of Pierre Gleizes/Greenpeace

  • Sandgrains' Underwater Scenes

    Our underwater operator Drew came to visit us on production and we had quite a few problems at customs with his equipment. But after a week of panic and haggling we finally managed to start working on our underwater scenes. Visit this link to see some photos of the week.

    With special thanks to the photographer Andrew Sutton who took the under water pictures.
    Full copyright © Andrew Sutton


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