Non Assistance

Documentary by Frédéric Choffat written with Caroline Abu Sa’Da

52 minutes – 2016


Since 2011, thousands of people fleeing on-going conflicts or in search for a better life are crossing the Mediterranean Sea to seek refuge in Europe. The old continent’s answer is either nonexistent or done on a security basis. Against this state of non-assistance to people in danger, a handful of civilians in Europe are getting involved in many different ways to bring back some humanity into this unprecedented crisis.


Co-production with
RTS Radio Télévision Suisse


52. Solothurner Filmtage, 2017

14. Festival International du film sur les droits humains, Genève, Competition, 2016

(lire plus)

World Sales & Rights:  Akka Films


While governments are more and more criminalizing migratory fluxes, some women and men are getting organized : some are chartering boats to save the shipwrecked. Others are hosting them on land, and yet others are filing criminal complaints against States for having failed to provide assistance to people in danger. All these individuals, moved by determination and courage, are actively offering an alternative to general indifference.

Among them, Charles Heller, a young Swiss researcher whom, by actively participating to the creation of first the Watch the Med platform – which documents the disappeared-at-sea migrants boats cases, and then the emergency phone line AlarmPhone created for boats in distress, shows us that this is not a fatality. Not only is it possible to save migrants at see, but it is also necessary today to address migrations differently.

By following his, and 6 other people’s, daily fight in Europe, on land and at sea, the film try and bring some food for thought in light of the current tragedy.



Directed by: Frédéric Choffat
Written by: Frédéric Choffat, Caroline Abu Sa’Da
Production: Nicolas Wadimoff and Philippe Coeytaux (Akka Films), Irène Challand and Gaspard Lamunière (RTS)
Cinematography: Frédéric Choffat
Editing: Ana Acosta
Location Sound Mix: Martin Stricker, Carlos Ibañez-Diaz, Frédéric Choffat
Sound Editing: Martin Stricker
Sound Mix: Martin Stricker
Music: Nicolas Neidhardt


10. Rencontres Ethnologie et Cinéma, Grenoble, 2017
Festival UNSPOKEN / Human Right Film Festival / Utica, New-York, 2017
19. UNAFF (United Nations Association Film Festival), Palo Alto, Californie
52. Solothurner Filmtage, 2017
14. Festival International du film sur les droits humains, Genève, Competition, 2016