January 10, 2018

Behind the scenes: film recording in Tanzania

Behind the scenes: film recording in Tanzania

As we drive up the last part of the hill after a bumpy ride with the car, we see a few people rushing in our direction with some plastic chairs. The big family (including pig, goats, chickens and cows) already expected us and welcomes us with big smiles, curious looks and ..  chairs to sit on. I am immediately moved by their hospitality! We meet a young farmer (and his proud father) who becomes the main character of a film. A film by and for farmers in the Dodoma region with the ultimate goal: improving the soil and re-greening the land!

We – by which I mean filmmaker Joost from Wild Tree Production, Njamasi from LEAD Foundation and Lieke and myself from Justdiggit – have a full week to capture and record the issues (the drought, degraded areas and the lack of rain and appreciation/valuation for trees), but especially the solution (the use of Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) techniques) on camera.

It all starts with a boy who – day in day out – works hard on his own land to support his family. Difficult in an environment that is so incredibly dry. The rainy season has started, but so far little rain has fallen. It is a dry, dusty landscape with little or no trees  with empty riverbeds where years ago water flowed through the whole year.

The young farmer wonders whether he should move to the city to find a job elsewhere so that he can give a future to his children. He asks his father for help, who decides to send the boy on a trip to seek advice from experienced farmers. It is a journey that unexpectedly gives him a lot of knowledge, hope and courage to cultivate his land in the right way! Kisiki Hai!

Now it’s time to edit all the shots into an inspiring film that hopefully will encourage farmers to take action. How do we reach them? A video caravan will travel from village to village (300 villages in total!).

Scroll down for behind the scene images!