mercredi 18 février 2015

Beyond the Shadows | Au-delà des Ombres

Hi Everyone!

IMG_9902 - Version 2I just launched an Indiegogo campaign with my producer Larkin Smith to fundraise for my newest short film Beyond the Shadows | Au-delà des Ombres which I will be filming in Geneva from the 22nd to the 28th of March 2015. This is my first large scale film project and I would be immensely grateful if you would consider donating.
About the story: Beyond the Shadows follows a female photographer through various stages and misfortunes of her life, which has drawn her to a world of shadows until she finds the strength to allow light back into her life. We see Sophie at age 10, age 18, age 30, and age 50 as she struggles with preconceived notions of femininity and her mother’s demons.
Where the funding will go: Renting a top notch camera, hiring a professional gaffer and cinematographer, feeding our crew, hiring a stunt coordinator, paying for lighting equipment and expendables, costumes and props, color correcting and animation.
Help make my short film happen by visiting my Indiegogo fundraising page:


samedi 3 janvier 2015

India last day: January 2nd

And already the last day in India. This morning we woke up to the sound of the rain.

The children at the orphanage drew very beautiful cards to thank our donors that I will bring back with me to Switzerland where I will prepare them for shipment across the world. We indeed have backers from many different countries.

I then participated to the women empowerment program where I helped them to correct some assignments and taught them computer skills. The lesson today was what are the usages of PowerPoint and how to use it. In the middle of the class the electricity was cut off and our back up ran out of batteries, so I had to continue my lesson on the black board. One of the other volunteer then took over to explain further the use of the various Microsoft word soft wares and we did a little bit more of English.

We had to leave around 1:30. It was difficult to say goodbye to all the women. I am going to miss all of them!

 I had organized a dinner with the friend of a friend whom I encountered through one of my father’s connections and who works in Gurgaon, an important financial sector near Delhi.

He invited my two volunteer friends and I to a very nice Indian restaurant and we had dessert at one of his friend Sim’s café: the Red Mango. There we had delicious frozen ice creams. Sim offered us to try different flavors and told us that it was her treat, which was very kind of her. She told us that she admired us for being so adventurous. We had to live short after because we still wanted to do some shopping at the market in Faridabad and we had to leave for the airport at around 8 pm.

The drive back was a little over an hour. At some point our driver got stuck on a dirt road between two asphalt roads that were at a different level and it is a miracle that he managed to got the car out of there. I was truly impressed.

We went to the market and finished packing. It is then with regrets that we went to the orphanage to say goodbye to the children. I truly didn’t want to leave, two weeks was too short of a time. Two months would’ve been great.

We said our goodbyes to our host family, which was also difficult. I couldn’t believe that it was already the end of my trip. I will miss them all very much and I hope I will find an opportunity to come back. I’ll definitely stay in touch with all of them!

On the way to the airport we had a little misadventure with our driver picking up a young man that he called his “brother in law.” One of us was sitting in the front car’s sit and he asked her very unkindly to sit in the back. He then told us not to ask any questions, which was very fishy. During the whole ride to the airport this young man kept looking at us, which made us feel uneasy. When the driver dropped us off at the airport he also unkindly asked for his money. Luckily the price was settled with our host beforehand so we paid him and hurried out of the car.

At the airport the control was very strict. I had never seen such security checks before. One of the volunteers had to hurry to catch her flight. Me and the other volunteer went to have massages at the spa. We had a 45 min back shoulder and neck massage that was absolutely wonderful. Exactly what we needed and nothing in comparison to the massage we had the previous day.

I boarded on my plane at around 3 am and it is with a heavy heart, but a heart full of beautiful memories that I will keep with me for a very long  time that I flew away from India...until next time.

India day 12: January 1st 2015

Today we slept in until about 10:30 am.

After a good breakfast to put us back in shape we went to the disabled children/women empowerment school to paint the walls of one of the classrooms with a light orange color. It took us the whole day to finish it. We did two breaks: one for lunch and one for a massage somewhere in sector-10 Faridabad.

The massage place was a little unsanitary and during the massage itself I was very cold. Nonetheless it was an interesting experience. We were in very small “rooms” divided by a very thin wall. My massage table was against one wall and I had to go on it squeezed between the wall and two uncanny machines that the masseuse didn’t take the time to move somewhere else. As she couldn’t reach my back she asked me to keep switching positions in the most uncomfortable ways possible. The scrub mixture that she used was also so cold. The positive points were that the massage still did some good and that beside the masseuse unusual handling of customers for a foreign woman like me, she was nice.

After the massage and a good dinner at the house, the other two volunteers and me were back at finishing to paint the room. Without paint masks, I felt very dizzy at the end of the day breathing all these toxins from the paint. We did a good job nevertheless and the next volunteers will draw animals to decorate the walls.

jeudi 1 janvier 2015

India day 11: December 31th

My fundraising campaign ended tonight. With all the donations received we could buy a new computer for the women empowerment program, helped finance the tuition fees for the children at the orphanage and we were able to acquire medical equipment for the disabled children school such as vestibular balls, a standing frame, a pedaling device and various other medical equipment.

Today I went to the women empowerment program where we practiced some English and they dressed us in sarees. One of them told me that she felt that she bonded very fast with me. I was touched. I was reluctant to wear the saree at first, but I got myself to the idea and even found it fun.

We later went to the slums school where I taught the same class as yesterday. We did similar exercises and I could see that the children were very distracted and excited. It was understandable as it is New Year’s Eve.

In the afternoon we had some free time and we went to the market in Faridabad sector-10. I was still wearing the saree the women dressed me with this morning and I stopped at a saree shop to see if they had anything festive to celebrate the new year. I bargained a very nice brown saree for 2800 Indian Rs and I bought with it a blouse that they had in store that luckily fit me. They had the saree ready for me at 6:30 pm which was nice of them, because I came very last minute. I found nice shoes at a nearby store that matched the saree perfectly for a very good price too.

Around 7:30 pm, the two other women volunteers and I went to a large mall in Faridabad where I bought some color pens for the children at the orphanage and an encyclopedia in English with very nice illustrations and photographs.

Vishy, the PMGY coordinator, his wife Kranti and their two children joined us later on and we went to eat at a nice and family friendly restaurant. The seven of us then fitted in a small car (5 sits with two in the trunk). We celebrated the new year at their house watching an Indian show named “Big Star” in our pajamas with some good rhum and had some small fireworks to play with. 

It was a great day to end the year! 

mardi 30 décembre 2014

India day 10: December 30th

Today I did my first donation. Kranti, the PMGY coordinator’s wife brought me to the school to which the orphan children go.  The money will go to the children’s tuition. Tomorrow I’m going to meet the principal and will be able to take some pictures.

At 11 am we headed to the slums school where we did the traditional assembly with songs and movements and I was assigned to teach the younger class. We practiced the numbers from 1 to 50, shapes, fruits, colors and days of the week. Each one of the children went to the board by turns to recite and spell the words.

After a much needed nap, I went to visit a place where they do pottery. We were allowed to make our own vases and then played with the clay to create small animals (I made a small bird). It was a lot of fun. The owner of this place was also our driver over the weekend. He cooked a delicious and mildly spicy chicken for us and insisted on making us eat more. It was sure delicious, but I couldn’t eat it all.

I got a terrible stomach pain, but Vishy, the PMGY coordinator gave me some good medicine that luckily worked quickly.

Tomorrow we might go to a restaurant in the evening, but we’ll celebrate new year very simply with the other volunteers.