Development Cooperation

The European Union screens four films in Laclubar celebrating trees

15/11/2021 - 07:14
News stories

The films underscore the importance of trees in traditional culture, livelihoods and climate action

The European Union (EU) showed for the first time outside Dili four films about the importance of trees to agroforestry and climate change mitigation, about their traditional mystical qualities, and about how trees contribute to the creation of new livelihoods and a more sustainable future for people in Timor-Leste.  The films, - three documentaries and one “making of” - were screened – at Salão Paroquial of suco Batara in Laclubar, Manatuto.

 The première event, when the films were shown for the first time to an invited audience, was held in Dili on 29 September at the residence of the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and former President of the Republic, Dr Ramos-Horta, and Dr Ramos-Horta was also in attendance at the district launch in Laclubar.

The films were produced with the support of the “Partnership for Sustainable Agroforestry (PSAF)/Ai ba Futuru”, co-financed by the European Union and the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). They convey an inspiring message of how local communities, with their wisdom, values and hard work are at the forefront of protecting and developing trees and forests in Timor-Leste, thereby contributing to climate change mitigation and adaptation, which is at the heart of the European Union Green Deal.

Ambassador of the European Union to Timor-Leste, Andrew Jacobs expressed his hope that “these films will entertain, inspire and open eyes to the importance of trees and forests. They are a resource that locally can generate revenue, create jobs and new livelihoods. At the same time they are also an asset that can be used globally for emission trading and climate change mitigation.”

The four films, “Son of Manukoko, the Guardian of Trees” by Bernardino Soares, “Ai Ba Moris” by Tom Hill, “Three Trees, Three Stories” by Lena Lenzen and the ‘Making of’ “Three Stories, One Country, Beautiful Timor-Leste” by Jawad Rayyan, will also be screened soon in Atauro. A road show will then ensure the films are screened in Manatuto, Baucau, Viqueque and Lautem, which are the four target municipalities of the PSAF-Ai Ba Futuru project.

To reach an international audience, the films have been sent to environment and climate change related Film Festivals, such as “Climate Crisis Film” held at the margins of ongoing COP 26, in Glasgow, Scotland, and the “Jakarta Independent Film Festival”, in Indonesia. Two of the films has already been selected for a Film Festival in Spain and for a Cinema Festival in the Netherlands.