There is not one group of people who are held in more contempt than the Romani. A more familiar term is gypsy, a term that many Romani see as insulting and perjorative.
Many Romani are successful, professional citizens, business owners, neighbors and friends. Media, however, has always painted them in a much more negative light. Many generations of Romani have accepted these beliefs and have done nothing to stop this stereotype. Left with little other choices, some Romani choose to live a life of a migrant and often a criminal as well.
It is a terrible cycle that breaking is proving to be very difficult. It is a hope that we [the Initiative] will be able to start a fundamental change,・said George Eli, founder of the Romani Media Initiative.
Now, there is a movement to change that from the ground up. The Romani Media Initiative seeks to bring the positives of a rich and proud culture to light via one of the universal languages.
Art is a universal language, and our goal is to share our culture through art so everyone can have a better understanding of who we are, said Eli.
Eli is a filmmaker and third generation Romani, and his first film Searching for the 4th Nail takes a personal look into a hidden world. The film won several awards and is hailed as a triumph for the Romani community and the academics who study them.
The first film was not enough, so now Eli is seeking additional help to continue sharing the world of the Romani.
The film has not yet made mass distribution, and this is something that we are desperate to do, said Eli.
Three worldwide offices in New York, Brussels and Munich will oversee the distribution of the film as well as continued education and exposure of the Romani people.
We are looking for sponsors and anyone who can back this for us, said Eli.
More information, including the film, can be found at the website. Visit www.romanimediainitiative.org.