We Never Gave Up - stories of courage in Gambia

For 22 years, Gambians lived under the repressive rule of President Yahya Jammeh and change seemed like a distant dream. In this documentary we meet the unsung heroes who risked their lives to defend human rights – an Imam who was abducted and buried alive for trying to prevent a mass execution – the lawyers who risked jail to defend women who were tortured, sexually assaulted and imprisoned for protesting for political change – and a group of young activists that started a global hashtag movement to stop Jammeh from changing the December 2016 election result.

Many people lost their lives standing up to Jammeh’s regime. And those who continued to fight often despaired that their actions would never make a difference, but they never gave up. In January 2017, Jammeh, under threat of military intervention from West African regional forces, finally agreed to exile and the Gambia became a democracy. This story shows how human rights defenders facing abusive regimes across the world can take hope from these stories of courage.

  • Jason Florio
    Director
    'A Blossom Pink World' / 'A Prince in Cape Town'
  • Louise Hunt
    Director
  • Louise Hunt
    Writer
  • Jason Florio
    Producer
    'A Blossom Pink World' / 'A Prince in Cape Town'
  • Louise Hunt
    Producer
  • Jason Florio
    Director of Photography
    A Blossom Pink World / Fishers of Men / A Prince in Cape Town
  • Tom Thistlethwaite
    Editor
    Oceans Apart series, Rhythms of India, Goya Exposed
  • Helen Jones-Florio
    Second Camera
    River Gambia Expedition,
  • Project Type:
    Documentary
  • Genres:
    Human rights, current affairs
  • Runtime:
    30 minutes 2 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    January 1, 2018
  • Production Budget:
    16,000 GBP
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    Gambia
  • Language:
    English
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
  • Pan African Film Festival (PAFF)
    Los Angeles
    United States
    February 7, 2019
    North America
  • Ibujan theatre screening
    Banjul
    Gambia
    January 21, 2018
    African premiere
  • Amnesty International secretariat
    London
    United Kingdom
    February 22, 2018
    UK Premiere
  • Gallery 71A
    London
    United Kingdom
    August 13, 2018
  • University of The Gambia - School of Journalism
    Banjul
    Gambia
    May 3, 2019
Director Biography - Jason Florio, Louise Hunt

Jason Florio is a multi-award-winning freelance photojournalist and filmmaker whose focus is on under-reported stories about people living on the margins of society and human rights. His work has been recognized with a number of awards, including the prestigious Magnum Photography Awards 2017, for his work on the migration crisis in the Mediterranean. He has worked extensively in Africa for the past 20 years and is a proud Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society
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Louise Hunt is an award-winning freelance multimedia journalist and filmmaker reporting on social justice and international development. After living in the Gambia, her work focuses on in-depth reporting on the country's migration crisis and the human rights abuses perpetrated under Yahya Jammeh's former regime. Now covering the Gambia's quest for truth and justice.

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