Saturday, October 25th
***CLOSING NIGHT CELEBRATION***
Dir. Orlando Von Einsiedel
2014, 97 min.
Virunga Park, the oldest National Park in Africa and home to the last of the mountain gorillas, is one of the most bio-diverse places in the world -- it also happens to be one of the most unstable. In 2012 it was the site of a standoff between the M23 rebel group and Congo's national army, and is full of rich minerals coveted by a shady, money-hungry multi-national corporation. Amid these threats, a brave collection of individuals -- including an ex-child soldier turned ranger, a gorilla handler, a Belgian conservationist, and a French journalist -- risk their lives to protect the park, and Von Einsiedel's sensational documentary tells their story.
Followed by post-screening discussion with Mélanie Gouby, the journalist featured in Virunga + Closing Night Celebration with live music by Isaac Katalay and the Life Long Project
Orlando Von Einsiedel’s documentaries spanning Africa, Asia, America and the Arctic have won numerous awards, screened at the world’s top film festivals and have encompassed everything from a skateboard school in Kabul to the tracking and arrest of pirates in West Africa. Praised by critics for his fearless filmmaking and strong sense of the people and places he covers, Orlando's eye for striking shots, combined with his compelling global investigations into social issues, have ensured that he is unequivocally an original and talented filmmaker on the rise. Virunga is Orlando's first feature.
Mélanie Gouby is a French freelance journalist who has been living and working in the Democratic Republic of Congo for three years, focusing on issues of conflict and justice. While extensively covering the M23 rebellion for international media, she investigated a British oil company prospecting in the Virunga National Park, Africa’s oldest park and a World Heritage Site. Her work is featured in the documentary Virunga. Prior to DRC, Melanie covered the International Criminal Court.
Louis Abelman is a journalist and filmmaker. He is currently the production manager of Global Nomads Group, an international education nonprofit in New York. He co-directed and produced Lumo a documentary about the recovery of a victim of sexual violence in DRC, and has worked on the development and management of visual storytelling training programs using mobile tools for young journalists and activists in Rwanda, Zimbabwe, and Afghanistan.