Les Enfants de la Mer
The co-creator of Degrassi launched a new venture at the Georges Cottreau auditorium in Dartmouth, NS when he premiered the first episode of a remarkable documentary series.
The series, Les Enfants de la Mer, follows five Canadian teenagers from École du Carrefour in Nova Scotia, to Algeria, where they create a summer camp for handicapped young people. These Berber children, who live beside a beautiful ocean, can never play in the waves. They are locked away while other children splash happily.
Authentic, textured and colourful, the documentary was filmed along Algeria's beautiful Mediterranean coast. It presents a rare view of Berber culture and the Canadian student’s reactions. Cultural differences affected everyone. Despite careful preparations, mistakes happened. The camp’s beach activities were happening in the middle of a Muslim community. Communication was difficult. And, always, there was the heat!
The voices of these young people, speaking French, English and Kabyle, are woven through the films, allowing the "children of the sea" to tell their story in the first-person. This is their story; sometimes life is hard, the Canadian-inspired project gave them hope.
Justin Antippa’s cinematography is breathtaking. His intimate shooting style suits this project. Antippa enjoys filming his subjects close up to capture remarkable images of our shared humanity.
Music, by Rachid Zenia, is vibrant and fascinating. Zenia uses traditional Algerian instruments and combines them with modern technologies to create a soundtrack filled with complex rhythms and haunting melodies.
The film is produced, directed and edited by Kit Hood, co-creator of the Degrassi franchise. He has many international awards, including Emmies, Geminis and Prix Jeunesse for his films. Producing Les Enfants de la Mer, was a labour of love, he says.
Les Enfants de la Mer is filled with heartwarming moments of joy, laughter and tears as the unique summer camp unfolds. The movie is hopeful. Its message is universal. The humanitarian project was a success. It changed the lives of these children of the sea — as it changed the lives of the five Nova Scotian students who gave their hearts to the project.
Agnes Malouf, the co-producer of Les Enfants de la Mer, announced that the premiere screening raised $300 in donations, to be shared with the Algerian children and the families of the recently fallen RCMP Officers of Moncton, NB.
Produced by TIMELESS PICTURES INC.
- Audience comments after the premiere screening:-
"It made me cry, I was happy and sad at the same time." Rachel (age 17)
"A sense of humanitarian good will underlines every aspect of this film. It left me with a feeling of gratitude for the simple pleasures in life.” Joanne
“It made me feel good to see the students helping the handicapped children do things they never did before.” Sam (age 13)
"It was inspiring. I want to help people in other countries like that." anon (age 8)
“The music is awesome." Noah (age 14)
"The film was charming, but at the same time it made me cry. My eyes were filled with tears to see how these children were so delighted to be able to swim in the sea for the first time. I hope that they won't be forgotten." Daphrose Nyiraminani