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DDocumentary Competition

Virunga

Virunga

Director: Orlando Von Einsiedel
United Kingdom, Congo | English, French, Swahili
2014 | 97min.
Subtitles: Arabic, English
Format: HDCAM
Theme: A
Eligible for Our World
15+
It has all the trappings of an international thriller: soldiers upholding their mission at any cost, an attractive young journalist trying to root out corruption, a mysterious corporation with insidious intent, broken international laws, sting operations, hidden cameras, bribes, murder. And gorillas. But this isn’t fiction, it’s the real-life drama playing out in Virunga National Park, one of the most biodiverse places in the world. Virunga is home to some of the world’s most prized natural resources—oil, and raw minerals used to make consumer electronics—but it’s also home to tight-knit fishing villages and some of the last remaining mountain gorillas on Earth. Orlando von Einsiedel tells the complex story of the forces working to save the park, and those looking to spoil it. He couldn’t have asked for better characters. There’s the Belgian park director viewed with suspicion because he’s a foreigner. The former child soldier who joined the park rangers to “protect the park to his last breath.' (And that’s no exaggeration: 130 rangers have died under fire from poachers and rebel militias.) Then there’s the intrepid French journalist using hidden cameras to capture the possible links between the militias and a British oil company whose representatives get a little too loose-lipped after a few drinks. Virunga does what the best documentaries should do: it opens our eyes, and then prompts us to act. —Joel Hoglund

Director,  Orlando Von Einsiedel

Director,  Orlando Von Einsiedel

Orlando von Einsiedel makes his feature debut with Virunga after gaining attention for his fearless style of filmmaking in far-flung locales combined with visually striking camerawork. He has directed numerous short documentaries set in Africa, Asia, the US and the Arctic, including the award-winning Skateistan: To Live and Skate in Kabul (2010), about an inspirational skateboarding school in Afghanistan.

Cast and Crew

Director
Orlando Von Ensiedel
Production Company
Grain Media, North Kivu Films, Violet Films
Sales Contact
Grain Media
Music
Patrick Jonsson
Producer
Orlando Von Ensiedel, Joanna Natasegara
Screenwriter
Orlando Von Ensiedel
Editor
Masahiro Hirakubo
Cinematographer
Franklin Dow, Orlando von Einsiedel
Art Director
Patrick Jonsson
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