In September 2016, with GFN support, DREFF – Dominican Republic Environmental Film Festival has hosted the third edition of the Green Film Network Award in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (September 13th-18th, 2016).

The award ceremony has been Sunday, September 18.

The winner is…

LANDFILL HARMONIC
directed by Brad Allgood and Graham Townsley

Landfill Harmonic revolves around the Recycled Instruments Orchestra of Cateura, a Paraguayan music group whose instruments have been entirely crafted from garbage collected from the open dump surrounding the neighborhood they live in.
Director: Brad Allgood, Graham Townsley
Country: USA/Paraguay – Year: 2015 – Duration: 84 min

Brad Allgood
Brad Allgood is an award-winning filmmaker with a background in international development and public health. His films have taken him into the heart of the Nicaraguan rainforest and remote Caribbean islands, as well as the sparse Kalahari Desert and dense African jungles. Before transitioning to filmmaking, Brad served for 3 ½ years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Nicaragua. His passion and focus is in Latin America.

Graham Townsley
Graham Townsley is an Emmy-nominated director of high-end documentaries for PBS, National Geographic and the Discovery channel. He trained as an anthropologist and has a Ph.D from Cambridge University. He went on to work in ethnographic films for the BBC such as The Shaman and his Apprentice based on his own fieldwork with a tribe of the Peruvian Amazon and From the Heart of the World, a film about the Kogi Indians of the Sierra Nevada of Colombia.

*****************
Fifteen members of the network presented a documentary selected in their 2015/16 selection and produced in their own country.
The 2016 submitted films are:

  • What a Strange Way of Life by Pedro Serra (Portugal 2014, 109’)
    In this documentary will be addressed ways of life that are parallel to society as we know it. We will closely follow the eco-village Cabrum, a recent community in northern Portugal; Cooperativa Integral Catalana, in Barcelona, which practices self-management with its own coin – the Eco; and finally, the self-sustaining community – Tamera – also located in Portugal. A research center for peace, with a Free Love philosophy, searching for self-sufficiency. It’s a Biotype for the global consciousness cure. All these projects, alternatives to the System, seek to live in harmony with a vision of the future based on sustainability and cooperation between human, animal and nature.
    trailer
  • Sunú by Teresa Camou Guerrero (Mexico 2015, 80’)
    Sunú knits together different stories about a threatened rural world. It travels into the heart of a country where people realize their determination to stay free, to work the land and cultivate their seeds, to be true to their culture and spirituality, all in a modern world that both needs them and despises them.
    trailer
  • Take Me To The River by Chitvan Gill (India 2015, 71’)
    This film is a personal exploration of the 22 kilometer stretch of the ‘dead’ Yamuna that passes through Delhi. It highlights the deplorable state and some of the gravest violations against the river and against the people to whom it is sacred, and many of whose lives and livelihoods are intimately tied to it.
  • Quivir by Manu Trillo (Spain 2014, 59’)
    Biosphere Reserve Andalucia-Morocco. A traditional occupation. Two cultures, one world.
    trailer
  • An American Ascent by George Potter & Andy Adkins (USA 2015, 66’)
    As the United States transitions to a “minority majority” nation, a staggering number of people of color do not identify with America’s wild places. Nine climbers set out on the first African-American expedition to tackle Denali (previously known as Mount McKinley), the continent’s highest peak, on the hundredth anniversary of its first summit. Their historic multi-week adventure, depicted in An American Ascent, challenges entrenched and outdated notions of racial identity and the environment, changing the way we think about our great American parks and who uses them.
    trailer
  • Freedom, an Aeagle Takes Flight by Muriel Barra & Jacques-Olivier Travers (France 2015, 90’)
    Roï is a wild, white-tailed eagle. He is about to tell us his tale. Estranged from his fellow creatures, manoeuvring alone in the sky amidst a wild and sublime nature, he shares his everyday life with us, the grandness of his flight and the hardships of survival. Roï must find his place among wild animals, find his food, and survive the rough winter. For many years, Roï has been observing men, the way they live and encroach, year after year, more and more upon his territory. Beyond his extraordinary voyages, he is haunted by a dread that follows him in his dreams: he thinks he is the last survivor of his kind…
    trailer
  • The Garden of Hope by Laurene Guenoun (Brazil / France 2015, 75’)
    Filmed at the South America’s largest open-air landfill after its closure, the camera gives to its inhabitants a stand where they can be heard. What will happen now to the community that has no other way of earning its daily bread? What the future holds for the children? With a camera, they can express themselves and their hope.
    trailer
  • Trashumancia by Maria Bagnat (Argentine 2015, 92’)
    In a corner of Patagonia Argentina, in Latin America, there is a system of sustainable social and productive organization of ancestral origins. Transhumance is to move and herding animals cyclically to the highest mountain in the summer pastures and down to the slopes of the mountain range in winter pastures. Today transhumant stockbreeders, originating Mapuches and Creoles, faced with the advance of fences, closing their pasturelands and expulsion from their land.
    trailer
  • The Nuclear Mafia by Kim Hwan-tae (Korea 2016, 115’)
    A group of civil investigators courageously embark on a mission to meet with the ‘nuclear mafia’.
  • Passage of Jomon and Pakur by Mizumoto Hiroyuki (Japan 2014, 122’)
    An extraordinary voyage project planned by Yoshiharu Sekino, an explorer known for TV series “Great Journey”. The project is to make canoe with ironware made from collected natural materials and take a voyage from Indonesia to Japan with no use of engine or compass but only use of silhouette of islands and star maps. However, the canoe had a structural defect against forwarding in adverse wind. The canoe only goes forward in slower than human walking speed in adverse wind. There were 10 crews on the stagnant canoe. The camera witnessed how they share joy, anger and sorrow under uncontrolled great nature. What will the voyage make the crews to become aware of?
    trailer
  • Long Live Hunting by Jaroslav Kratochvíl (Czech Republic 2014, 66’)
    “There is a little bit of hunter in every man,” explains one of the protagonists of the film, which from various perspectives looks at hunting as one of the features of the Czech national character. The documentary follows several idiosyncratic characters and examines the hunting culture that every Czech has encountered at least once in his life. From the peculiarity of the Czech national hunt to Africa hunting safaris and the meaning behind the hunter’s passion for collecting trophies, the film is a reflection on one man’s motives – a hunter who assumes the right to decide about life and death”.
    trailer
  • Matricide by Komeil Sohani (Iran 2015, 76’)
    A critical viewpoint to kingship of water in the country “matricide” discusses drought, its signs & symbols and the related reason & factors.
  • Tristia: A Black Sea Odyssey by Stanislaw Mucha (Germany 2014 , 99’)
    A remarkable travelogue from a trip around the Black Sea: along its shores, lined by the boundaries of six states, and through bizarre seaside resorts. More than the tourist industry or political problems, the film focuses on solitary statues, decaying architectural monuments, and the personal stories of the local people. From each stop on their journey, the filmmakers send a series of stylized video postcards with the playfulness of staged scenes, set against the backdrop of the sea. In this cinematic answer to Ovid’s Black Sea lamentations, that ancient text receives new qualities that tell us about a place that is accursedly beautiful but also beautifully cursed.
    trailer
  • After the Last River by Victoria Lean (Canada 2015, 86’)
    Victoria Lean has crafted a stunning documentary about the community of Attawapiskat and the impact diamond mining has had on the community. The multinational corporation De Beers has opened a diamond mine on the band’s traditional territory, leading to promises of economic benefit and the risk of environmental damage. Lean interviews the First Nation’s leaders and community members, as well as the diamond mine and federal and provincial government representatives. The film shows how the community fares after the mine opens, and documents decades of government underfunding. This compassionate doc looks at the difficult situation and exposes the indifference that has made it possible, as well highlights stories of resistance. After the Last River culminates with a defiant Chief Spence’s hunger strike in Ottawa, and the rise of the Idle No More movement.
    trailer
  • Landfill Harmonic by Brad Allgood & Graham Townsley (USA 2015, 84’)
    The world sends them garbage and they send back music. The world generates about a billion tons of garbage a year. Those who live with it and from it are the poor – like the people of Cateura, Paraguay. And here they are transforming it into beauty.

The jury members:
Petra Holzer (BIFED – Bozcaada International Festival of Ecological Documentary, Turkey)
Eleonora Isunza (Cinema Planeta, Mexico)
Gaetano Capizzi (CinemAmbiente, Italy)
José Vieira Mendes (Cine’Eco, Portugal)
Joselyn Joseph (CMS Vatavaran, India)
Eroll Bilibani (DokuFest – International Documentary & Short Film Festival, Kosovo)
Natasha Despotovic (DREFF – Dominican Republic Environmental Film Festival)
Sergey Resheting (Ecocup, Russia)
Stefania Sandrone (Ecozine Film Festival, Spain)
Peter O’Brien (EFF – Environmental Film Festival in the National’s Capital, USA)
Philippe Theon (EFFA – Environmental Film Festival in Albania)
Myriam Gast Loup (FIFE – Festival International du Film d’Enviroment, France)
Suzana Amado (Filmambiente, Brazil)
Florencia Santucho (FINCA – Festival Internacional de Cine Ambiental, Argentina)
Maeng Soojin (Green Film Festival in Seoul, Korea)
Tadao Sato (Green Image Film Festival, Japan)
Bahman Aghaei (Iran International Green Film Festival, Iran)
Johannes Kostenzer (INFF – Innsbruck Nature Film Festival, Austria)
Ondřej Kamenický (One World – Human Rights Documentary Film Festival, Czech Republic)
Roxana Bucata (Pelicam International Film Festival, Romania)
Anne Mark (Planet in Focus, Canada)
Rachel Caplan (San Francisco Green Film Festival, USA)
Marina Pavlic (SEFF – Smaragdni Eco Film Festival, Croatia)