The Anholt Project is a journey into the unknown. 22 youngsters whisked away to a remote Danish island with only three rules:
1. No violence.
2. No drugs.
3. No technology.
They have the equipment and opportunity to reinvent themselves by creating a functioning micro-society, well, if they so choose.
Leaving their ordinary lives behind is Marc, a self-described 'Lion' from the beautiful island of Mallorca. A Danish boy with a nack of getting into trouble Anders, and an unpredictable Austrian teen, Bianca.
Accompanied by 19 others from 6 different cultures the group know little about what lies on Anholt, a small island in the Kattegat Sea, once forest but now an eerie desert. 6km across with only 100 inhabitants.
Most of the group have fallen out of the education or work system in their home countries, leading to a loss of direction.
The next 14 days is a chance find it again. But it won't be easy. Real independence comes with few rules, no programme and no bossy youth workers. Each person grapples with buying and cook their own food, build their accommodation, cleaning and self-motivation.
The process is not some macabre experiment, the emotional highs and lows, the learning processes and interactions are documented by two universities to understand the impact of non-formal learning, to reform educational policy in the European Union.
But this research holds little comfort to Marc, Anders, Bianca and the rest of the group. For them, it's not a journey to Anholt, but a journey inwards, forcing them to deal with situations and emotions they have never encountered before.
As for the projects, they keep saying that they can not interfere, that they must be objective, that this is not supposed to be Lord of the Flies.
But it could be.
Producer, Director & 2nd Unit Camera
Anholt was the first feature-length documentary I produced and directed. I gained a vast amount of logistical production experience working on the road, travelling from in Denmark, Austria and Spain - twice. The project involved six co-producers in six countries, but the story focused on just three. I was chiefly responsible for the story development, overseeing visual aesthetics, sound design and production management. The core crew drove across Europe, covering over 8,000 km in a three-month block of shooting.
The film was designed to be cut for each territory independently and was shown in selected cinemas across Europe, along with the UK and Danish television broadcasts. It's now available to watch in full on YouTube, and hope it can be used to inform education policy across Europe. A more detailed breakdown of the production can be found on my blog.