The Guide, a remarkable new documentary film about the human side of environmental sustainability, will have its world premiere on April 6 at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, held in Durham, North Carolina.
Jessica Yu’s 40 minute film is a coming-of-age story about Tonga Torcida, who was born and raised near Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique, a spectacular 4,000-square-kilometer preserve located at the southern end of the Great East African Rift Valley. Its unique biogeographical features supported some of the densest wildlife populations in all of Africa, including charismatic carnivores, herbivores and over 500 bird species. But large mammal numbers were reduced as much as 95% and the ecosystem was profoundly stressed during many years of civil conflict, which finally ended in 1992.
Full Frame Documentary Film Festival director of programming, Sadie Tillery, describes the film, which focuses on efforts to revive the park:
Today, Greg Carr is committed to the park’s restoration and conservation and plans to engage the local community in the effort by providing jobs to over four hundred individuals and ensuring that the resources yielded by the park are then spread to the surrounding villages. He and his colleagues are taken by Tonga, whose passion for the landscape embodies its future. When renowned biologist E.O. Wilson visits, Tonga is offered the remarkable opportunity to translate for him. The realization of his dream may just inspire Tonga to envision a more significant role for himself in sustaining this remarkable place. Exquisite imagery of lush scenery and majestic animals embellish this powerful portrayal of mutualism between both man and nature and man and fellow man.”
Yu, a director of both documentaries and scripted work, is being honored at this year’s festival for her body of work with the Full Frame Tribute award. A number of her earlier films, along with The Guide, will be shown during the festival.
The Guide will have its world premiere screening at 7:40 p.m. on Saturday, April 6, in Cinema 1 at the Carolina Theatre, 309 West Morgan Street, in Durham, North Carolina. A Q&A with Jessica Yu is scheduled following the screening.
For ticket information, visit the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival’s website.