Crossing the Sahara – at the Regent

THE Regent Centre in Christchurch is showing the British Backpacker Society’s documentary, Across The Safari, filmed by and starring three former Highcliffe School pupils on Monday 13th August at 7.30pm.

The feature-length documentary film covers the team’s overland expedition through the world’s largest sand-desert in March 2017. The journey takes the team to Morocco, the Western Saharan Territories, Mauritania and Senegal and features all manner of unusual transports, ranging from the top of speeding freight trains to mine-field crossing taxis.

The film director, Michael Worrall, says: “The film aims to strike a balance between serving as a light-hearted adventure movie packed with tongue-in-cheek humour and a valuable insight into a little-understood region of Africa.”

Samuel Joynson, the executive producer, says: “We were particularly pleased to obtain footage from the Mauritanian interior in the Central Sahara – as far as we are aware, this simply hasn’t been done before and this film is the first to get such high quality footage out of the region.”

The British Backpacker Society is a leading international adventure travel project, founded by the former Highcliffe students, Samuel Joynson (26), Adam Sloper (25) and Michael L Worrall (25), each of whom retains strong links to the local area. Between them, the three founders have independently visited over 100 countries around the world, ranging from Somalia to Turkmenistan. The society was established to promote and enable travel to off-the-beaten-track destinations in the developing world, underpinned by the belief that a more connected, mutually-understood world is a better world.

The project achieves this aim through its social media presence, media exposure, travel writing, and unique video documentaries, such as this feature-length travel documentary.

The British Backpacker Society has been featured on the BBC, Lonely Planet and the front page of the Middle East’s leading newspaper, Gulf News, and countless publications in more than 15 countries.

The founders have undertaken some British Backpacker Society expeditions for charity – such as a 10,000km overland journey from Southampton to Shanghai in aid of the Alzheimer’s Society. The aim of others has been to change international perceptions about certain regions of the world. One of their highlights is causing the government of Pakistan to liberalise its tourist visa policy for the first time since 9/11.

The film has been selected for the Adventure Travel Film Festival 2018 and is scheduled to be shown around the world over the next 12 months with showings scheduled in destinations from Bulgaria to Australia, but Adam Sloper says: “One of the showings that we are looking forward to most will be bringing it back to Dorset – it will be great to share our film with the town that we call home.”

All proceeds from the screening at the Regent will be donated to UNICEF, in light of the work that the charity undertakes in the Saharan region of Africa. .