THE FOREST MAKER is the portrait of a remarkable man whose life's work was honored with the so- called alternative Nobel, the Right Livelihood Award in 2018. Tony Rinaudo has found a way to grow trees in the most barren areas by activating the tree stumps and roots still alive as an “underground forest” for decades and thereby secures the livelihood of thousands of farmers in Africa. His method “Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration” (FMNR) restores not only soil but dignity and hope. The Chief of all Farmers, as he is affectionately known today in many villages, has had to fight an uphill battle to gain acceptance for his ideas. Having worked in the Sahel region for 30 years he witnessed despair and famine but also resilience, determination and change. In THE FOREST MAKER Volker Schlöndorff follows Tony Rinaudo to different African countries to witness the effect FMNR has had on fighting desertification and repeatedly encounters issues - migration, climate change, gender justice. To complement his view, he invited African filmmakers to collaborate with him and share their experience of rural life and local challenges.
With integrated shorts by Idriss Diabaté, Alassane Diago, Nadia Beddiaf Tamisier and Laurene Manja Abdallah.
Volker Schlöndorff´s hopeful documentary debut.
Bergamo IFF, Evia Film Project, La Rochelle FF, Jerusalem IFF, Tropentag FF, Cinefest, Adana Golden Boll FF, Atmospheres FF, Hamptons IFF (Victor Rabinowitz & Joanne Grant Award for Social Justice), Bifed - International Festival of Ecological Documentary, Warsaw IFF (comp.) a.o.
"A successful documentary debut by Volker Schlöndorff. Pays homage to a scientist, whose vision could save world wide tree stock and our future." - BR KinoKino
"An important film on the climate crisis" - Dresdner Morgenpost
"Visionary" - Cinema
"Captivating documentary" - "“No tree is dead, everything can grow back”. Schlöndorff's enthusiasm is contagious: we want to believe it!" - Africultures
Director, Writer: Volker Schlöndorff / Cinemathographer: Paapa Kwaku Duro, Jean Diouff, Michael Kern, Mahamoud Abdoulay, Jonas Aly Sagnon, Axel Schneppat / Editor: Anette Fleming / Music: Bruno Coulais, Ablaye Cissoko / Sound: Porgo Seydou, Mbaye Maniang Diagne Pat, Fikadu Semegn Emre, Benjamin Simon / Sound Design: Detlef Schitto / Re Recording Mixer: Martin Steyer / Animation: Nadia Beddiaf / Producers: Volker Schlöndorff, Thomas Kufus, Kornelia Themen / Co Directors: Alassane Diago, Idriss Diabate, Laurene Manaa Abdallah / Production Supervisor: Josefine Bingemer / Line Producer: Tassilo Aschauer / Commissioning Editor Matthias Leybrand (BR), Sonja Scheider (BR/ARTE), Catherine Le Goff (ARTE G.E.I.E)
Original Title: The Forest Maker / Shot digital / available for screenings in DCP / Color / 1:2,35 / 87 min, 52 min / original language: English, Hausa with English, French, Italian, Polish subtitles / zero one film, Volksfilm, Germany 2022