On the 17th of February Kārlis Lesiņš and Lelde Prūse, journalists from the Woodpecker Pictures were invited to an evening tea at the Green Liberty’s staff and friends to share the story of their trip to Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) where they filmed a documentary movie about the care for protected eastern gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei and Gorilla beringei graueri).
Evening tea with journalists was a non-formal event, where Kārlis and Lelde shared the story about two different countries – Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo. They told how Volcanoes National Park, and more specifically, gorillas living there supply these countries with resources for survival and development. While listening to them, the auditory could follow the process of filming in Rwanda (Kigali, Musanze, Gisenyi regions), DRC (Goma and Masisi regions) and the territory of the Volcanoes National Park.
The journalist shared reflections about unexpected turning-points during the trip, interaction of the team, and what other journalist should consider when they go to Global Southern countries in Africa. It was exciting to hear that journalists had changed their conception of the movie: “I hoped the movie would be about pleasant and peaceful things like the animals, nature. Consequently, I could step aside from the previous experience to see the things through the looking glass of conflicts. Yet, it turned out that the foundation of the plot is the tension between people and animals, rebels, government and society, veterinarians and tourists” (Kārlis). It was very inspiring to hear that “the world is round. It means that we as the species on this planet are interconnected.” (Lelde).
It was inspiring to feel the connection between the journalists, sponsors, representatives of environmental organisations and activists. We hope that this Evening tea event helped participants to enrich understanding of why stories from Global South are meaningful for us.
Woodpecker Pictures is a brand new film studio – a group of energetic enthusiasts including a director, a journalist, a video specialist and a producer, who were brought together by a common vision of interests and professionalism. In project Media for Development, this film studio has agreed to make a documentary film that currently is in after filming stage. The documentary film will tell the story not only about the efforts to protect the animals and maintain their health and lives, but also about their geographic, political and social environment. The documentary will reveal personal motivation and attitude towards protected eastern gorillas in Rwanda and DRC – starting from veterinarians of Gorilla Doctors organisation to rebels in the war affected DRC.
The trip and documentary is also supported by the Boris and Inara Teterev Foundation.