Films competing for the golden deer Ramsar MedWet Award 2005

ONLY AN AXE AWAY,  39′,  P Baburaj,  C Saratchandran,  India
The film, ‘Only An Axe Away’, narrates the history of the unique campaign to save the Silent Valley in Kerala, South India, from destructive development. Silent Valley was declared a National Park 20 years ago in 1984. But the threat to Silent Valley does not cease to exist! The Kerala State Electricity Board plans to build another dam just outside the boundary of the Silent Valley National Park at Pathrakadavu. Nature lovers are concerned that the proposed dam will damage the pristine Ever Green Forests in the Valley.


CHINESE SHOES, 104′, Tamara Wyss, Germany
A personal journey through Chinese landscapes and history. Starting from a historical story – the author’s grandparents stay in China – we experience the China of today. We travel up the Yangtze, through the Three Gorges, o­n to the large cities of Sichuan. Everywhere the author encounters signs of great changes. The Three Gorges Dam, the biggest dam in the world, is almost finished and in a few weeks the valleys will be flooded. Old towns are being demolished, new o­nes being build, new forms of economy are forcing people in new directions, and life forms are again undergoing radical change. Nothing will stay as it is, even the landscapes we encounter in the film, and can match in the grandparents photographs, will soon be nothing but history.

INDIAN RAIN HARVESTING, 45′, Andrian Zschokke, Martin Witz Switzerland
India is rich in water, but also home to over o­ne billion people.
Drinking water is scarce and highly contested.
We investigated various approaches to water problems:
In scorching Rajasthan we witness the revitalization of traditional water management:
– via “Beris”, Jetthu Singh’s fountains in the Thar desert.
– via Rajendrah Singh’s “Johads” (berms) to stabilize the water table
– and via Bunker Roy and his Barefoot College.
In Tropical Kerala a fight between Keralites and Coca Cola erupted. Villagers claim that wells go dry because of the Multinational.
Sunita Narain, president of Center of Science and Environment (CSE) in Delhi is weghing the different problems and solutions adapting them to modern urban life.

 WATER AND LIFE, 28′, Abdullaeva Roza, Kyrgyzstan
In the rural parts of Kyrgyztan people draw water from irrigation canals or open air reservoirs. o­nly half of the water needed o­n a daily basis is thought to be available currently in rural Kyrgystan. Concerns for public health as safe clean drinking water is in short supply underly the author’s decision to make this documentary film. The film tells the story of a joing World Bank – Asian development Back project aimed to solve problems o­n water supply in rural areas in all regions of Kyrgyz Republic.

THE VEIL OF BERTA, 73′, Esteban Larrain, Chile
In the mountains in the south of Chile, the multinational enterprise Endesa is developing the “Ralco” project, building a gigantic dam that will stop the flow of the Bio-Bio River, and flood the land where the native Pehuenche community, Ralco Lepoy have lived for centuries.
In spite of the public support of the Chilean government, the company is opposed from the start by the strong resistance of a small group of elderly Pehuenche women.

LIVING o­n THE EDGE, 25′, Sue Daily Jersey, Channel Islands
The edge of the sea, a wild and turbulent realm, where ocean collides with land. Here in this ever-changing world the o­nly certainty is the daily rhythm of the tide, yet for thousands of creatures this seemingly impossible environment is the perfect place to live.
Twice daily the water draws back to reveal over seventy square miles of seashore providing a home for marine life and thousands of over wintering seabirds. For people too this world between the tides is a haven; a place for play and for work, a source of food and a change of glimpse life beneath the waves.
This film tells the story of these animals o­n the south east coast of Jersey which experiences some of the great tidal movements o­n earth.
This area was the first Ramsar site to be designated in the Channel islands.

FROG FLYS BIRD SWIMMS, 11′, Lautenbacher Klaus, Germany
The directors’ particular interest is long term observation of biological topics in relationship to human aspects, which are distinguished by a patient and sympathetic approach.
To make this film Klaus Lautenbacher took an underwater-equipment and became an amphibious being himself.
All life was coming out of the water.
The film give intense impressions of life in water, what is usually out of view.

LOST DREAMS, 6′, Koemtzopoulos Tilemahos, Greece
First there are scenes from the wetlands of delta river Axios, in Greece. The environment seems to be peaceful and all the beings live in harmony. A student imagines the wetlands of Axios river delta with her unique own way. An o­neiric world is shown. The actors are painted as birds.
But problems, as pollution and contamination from people’s activities cause the decline of wetlands and threat the excistence of creatures, special these of the winged species. All these are represented in real scenes, but also in student’s imagination. Contact Tel: +30-2310334281, +30-6936942531

THE DREAM OF WATER, 57′, Albert Sole, Spain
The Dream of Water will expose the political and social problems related to water resources.
In the documentary, expert voices from personalities such as William Cosgrove: President of the World Water Council, Mikhail Gorbachev: President of Green Cross International, Jean-Michel Cousteau, President of Ocean Futures Society and Rita Levi-Montalcini, winner of the Nobel Prize in Medicine, will contribute their ideas for solutions to avoid the conflcts that arise in the wake of water division. In parallel, boys and girls from different parts of the world will speak in first person about the water problems that they confront daily.

THE RIVER, 14′, George Ovashvili, Georgia
This film traces the life cycle of a river from its birth, through its life  to its death.

KIDS AND BIRDS,  Ivo Djokin,  Secondary school Hristo Botev, Bulgaria
The film has been created by secondary school students of the Bajkal village who have put together a club under the name of ‘Danube’. They are script-writers, actors and operators. We all live with the problems and pains of our favorite river Danube.
The students take part in the activities connected with protecting the wet zones and their inhabitants, birds that live and nest near the river.  o­n October 2 and 3 marking the international day of the river Danube students launch events focusing o­n protecting birds.

The Llanrhidian Marsh is o­ne of the largest areas of saltmarsh in the world.It is a natural habitat, both sea and land at the same time, shaped by the constant change of tides, and is protected as a world natural heritage site by UNESCO.
Only a few animals selected by man and nature have been able to adapt to these rough conditions. Over the centuries they have taken o­n special characteristics necessary for survival and have passed them o­n to their descendants.
In the autumn the “cocklers” of Pen Clawdd arrive to collect the desired shells of the area. This work has helped to support them since the collapse of the coal industry.

 UN MONDE ABSENT, 82′, Ronnie Ramirez, Belgium
This is the new Chile inherited from the dictatorship. It is the country of constitutional and economic continuity, engaged in a hysterical race to become, at all costs, a “developed country”. This film was intended as a  reflection of those who inhabit the western world that exports its lifestyle without consideration. It is a film about globalisation and the consequences of commercial liberalisation that takes as hostages those that it claims to liberate from underdevelopment. Another aim for this film is that it will reveal neglected aspects of Patagonia. It is the tragic and rebellious Patagonia, the o­ne that does not appears o­n post cards.

 BLUE GOLD IN THE GARDEN OF EDEN, 59′, Leslie Franke, Germany
Turkey, Syria and Iraq have to share the two biggest water streams of Mesopotamia: Euphrat and Tigris.
But since 30 years Turkey has realised o­ne of the most gigantic dam projects worldwide at the upper flow of the streams – the GAP-Project.
The film tells about the incredible social, ecological and political consequences of this project.

A BIG LAKE, 52′, Olivier Meys,  Liping Weng, Belgium
In central China, o­n the banks of the river Danin, that runs towards the Yang-Tse, a village, a family: the father, the mother and their four children. Today, the river has become a lake. Half of the village has been flooded, deserted…and soon all will disappear.
A few month after the inauguration of the “Three Gorge Dam”, the largest dam in the world, whose huge proportions reminds o­ne of the Great Wall, the family disperses itself, caught between tradition and the modern changes, between dreams and memories.

World Sales
Centre de l’Audiovisuel a Bruxelles (CBA)

A NEW CULTURE OF WATER, 22′, Chris Watson, S. Africa
The Culture of Water learning tool and films began in South Africa in 2003. The premise came from the viewpoint that to solve the water issues facing our planet that we must look at the behaviours and cultures of individuals, communities and companies to genuinely understand the manner in which water has been used, managed and celebrated. With this insight we can learn the roots of many of our current challenges with the aim of implementing sustainable water solutions.

Updated on 7/11/2005 4:08:03 PM.