Rain is falling wins Ramsar / MedWet Award for 2006


Rain is falling nominated best film on water and wetlands at the Rodos Ecofilms Festival, 20-25 June 2006

Reported by Sofia Spirou, Communications Officer, MedWet

Rain is falling by Holger Ernst earned the Ramsar/MedWet award for best film on water and wetlands in the sixth Rodos Ecofilms Festival on film and visual arts, Rodos 20-25 June 2006. The 3,500 Euro prize was awarded by Nick Davidson, Deputy Secretary General of the Ramsar Convention during the closing ceremony of the festival, on Saturday 24 June, in Rodos, Greece.

An apparently simple tale forms the basis of the narrative: a little girl works to carry water back to her village where she takes care of her sick mother and of the household. Intuitive and captivating imagery weave themselves into a poetic narrative that works without words to communicate a wealth of messages on water.

With a well measured pace the film gradually builds up to address the issue of access to water, its value as a life sustaining element, and the potential of local solutions to meet the needs for water.

By addressing universal themes the film is relevant to audiences independent of culture and background. An intuitive and emotional vocabulary is used to express metaphors on the nature of water as a gift, uncertainty and fragility in the face of distress, as well as vulnerability when confronted with natural phenomena.

The film also offers a message of hope. The girl finds a simple and promising solution to meet the water needs of the household. The reversal in the generation roles, with the future generation acting to ensure a sustainable use of resources to meet the needs of the present one adds yet another subtle nuance in a film that in the words of the jury 'speaks to us, not at us'.

The Jury also awarded two special mentions to Freshwater Lands by Ana Cristina Henriquez and Cyanide Blues by Zoltan Torok.

Set in Venezuela, Freshwater lands documents the wetlands stretching along the Orinoco River. With beautiful photography and using interviews with local communities it provides an overview of values and benefits associated with this wetland considered among the largest wetland ecosystems in South America.

Set in Hungary, Cyanide blues is the story of the remarkable recovery of the River Tisza, following a pollution accident in 2000. Focusing on the challenges confronting the local community, particularly fishermen, following the damage to the river, the film provides an insight into the dynamics of community stewardship. It also finds that wetland ecosystems are remarkably resilient but that the severity of consequences of an environmental accident are governed by chance.

From right to left, Salvador Aguirre, Nick Davidson, Sergio Illuminato, Ana Christina Henriquez and two members of the Cinema Club of Rodos that received awards in lieu of Holger Ernst and Zoltan Torok

The Jury was composed of Mr Salvador Aguirre, Director of the Mexico Film and Water Event hosted during the fourth World Water Forum, Mexico, March 2006, Mr Sergio Illuminato, Director General of the Information and Communication Regional Action Center of the UNEP Mediterranean Action Plan, as well as Mr Tony Long, Director of the WWF European Policy Office.

The Award is accompanied by a financial prize of 3,500 Euro jointly sponsored for the third consecutive year by the Ramsar Convention and MedWet.

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