Our Work




Mantra chronicles the dangerous obstacles that refugees and migrants face on their journeys to reach safer harbours.

Most of the stories we see about the refugee crisis are told from a political angle, but when we meet refugees in person, we above all encounter kindness and strength. We set out to tell a powerful story about the risks that refugees are willing to take to reach safety or a better living standard.


Sil van der Woerd


Trent & Charlotte Scott-Wilson



A Long Journey

Many refugees arriving in Europe make long and dangerous journeys across the sea. To tell this story, it had to be told by them. Almost all of the people portrayed in the video are actual refugees from Syria, and migrants from Afghanistan, Ghana, Mali, Nigeri and Somalia. Some fled from wars, others had economic reasons.

All of them spent some part of their journey on a boat. Some 'only' a few hours, others as long as 7 days, often without enough water and food. Some were witness to their friends or family drowning during the crossing of the Mediterranean Sea.

During production we shared several dinners with the migrants and they would share their stories which were often daggers to the heart. They were often mixed with stories of joy.


We filmed in Sicily in Italy, and in the Netherlands in a special pool where we recreated the dangerous boat scenes. When we filmed the migrants in Sicily, they had arrived to the European main land just days earlier. Even so, they were excited to recreate their journey for the film and tell their stories.

The painting featured in the video is made by Syrian refugee Khattar Shaheen.