Friday 28 September 2012

Dirty White Gold

The message about the environmental impact of cotton can sometimes get confused or diluted. If a report or two fudges the facts or gets their numbers skewed, then suddenly there are screams of bias and the whole issue just gets that bit more muddled.
Here's a stat that often gets ignored: over 300,000 Indian farmers have killed themselves over the past few years as a direct consequence of spiralling debts brought on after they moved their farms over to cotton. This is a humanitarian disaster that springs from our desire for cheap clothing and the widescale industrialisation of agriculture in the Third World. The story of these farmers is one that has been kept quiet for too long.
Now director Leah Borromeo is looking for funds to make a documentary about the human cost of fast fashion. Through crowd-funding website Sponsume, she and her crew are after £18,000 to complete the financing round she needs to get the film done. An ex-foreign news editor for Sky News, Leah has a decade's experience in broadcast journalism, and she's working with a solid core of fellow activists and film-makers like Emily James, who made last year's climate change rallying call Just Do It.
Dirty White Gold will, despite its grim subject matter, not be dour or preachy. Leah has prankery afoot, and she intends to make a movie with a quirky, funny edge to it.
As someone who's made low-budget films, I know what an absurdly tiny sum £18,000 is in movie-making terms. It would be a crying shame for a project like this not to be made if there's anything we can do about it. So this is a call-out for contributions. Funding ends on November 9th, and there are plenty of awards and pressies available to sponsors. Who knows, you could even get your name in the credits of the film!
I've dropped £30 into the pot on behalf of Pier32, and it would be brilliant if all our regular readers could do the same--or better! Dirty White Gold is a project we'll be following with great interest here at The Pier, and there will certainly be a review up as soon as we get a chance to see it.
For more info, and to involve yourself in the film, check out Sponsume, and Dirty White Gold's Facebook page.

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