Conservation International-Produced Short Film “Dulce” Selected for 2018 Toronto International Film Festival

August 9, 2018

Filmed in La Ensenada on the Pacific coast of Colombia, the film follows a young girl, Dulce, whose small fishing community is struggling with the effects of climate change on their lives. In Dulce’s community, climate change means higher tides from rising sea levels in the Pacific Ocean.

“Dulce” was co-directed by Guille Isa and Angello Faccini and produced by filmmakers Jungles in Paris. It was executive produced by actor and activist Lee Pace, and Margarita Mora and Anastasia Khoo on behalf of Conservation International.

As the film opens, Dulce is being taught to swim by her mother, Betty. For this community, swimming is survival: It is a skill Dulce needs to carry on her family’s livelihood harvesting piangua, a cockle, from nearby mangroves. Meanwhile, rising tides have wiped out entire villages in recent years near La Ensenada, heightening Betty’s urgency to help Dulce master this skill.

For generations, Afro-Colombian residents of the Iscuandé River delta, which includes La Ensenada, have fished and harvested piangua. But the cockle have been in decline due to overharvesting — a development that has spurred communities like Dulce’s to learn to conserve coastal areas from pollution and ocean erosion.

“The decision to tell this story through the eyes of a mother and daughter was deliberate. Across the globe, women are on the front lines of climate change. The urgency we feel as Betty struggles to teach her daughter to swim reminds us that that women are more likely than men to feel the impacts of climate change, especially in the developing world,” said Anastasia Khoo, Conservation International’s Chief Marketing Officer. “Increasingly, they are also the ones rising to the challenge to speak up and force change.”

This film arrives at a promising moment in Colombia’s environmental history. Last year, President Juan Manuel Santos expanded the coastal ecosystems protected under the Malpelo Fauna and Flora Sanctuary along the Pacific Ocean. The national park expanded by 1.7 million hectares, from 950,000 hectares to 2.7 million hectares.

Conservation International and Fondo Acción have joined in the creation of a conservation trust fund, La Minga, to benefit the Colombia’s Pacific coast as well. It is home to over 30,000 people of primarily Afro-Colombian descent, as well as 1,400 species, including 80 percent of the region’s humpback whale breeding grounds, and some of the country’s most intact mangrove forests.

In the tradition of Conservation International’s other films (“Nature is Speaking,” “Valen’s Reef,” “Under the Canopy” and the recently released “My Africa”), “Dulce” puts a human face on the quest for environmental protection.

For Conservation International, it is an effective strategy. Viewers of “Under the Canopy” responded by helping the organization, with the backing of SC Johnson, to protect 10,000 acres of rainforest in record time.

Jungles in Paris, cofounded by Oliver and Darrell Hartman in 2013, also has been recognized for its environmental-themed films. The mission-driven media company focuses on subjects of nature and culture, having produced short documentaries featured at festivals such as Hot Docs, Atlanta and Big Sky.

Co-directors Isa and Faccini have also seen their work presented in numerous international film festivals. Isa’s films have appeared at Barcelona, Amsterdam, Riverrun, Sidewalk and more. Faccini has among his film credits Lina (2016), a winner of a Young Director’s Award at Cannes and Best Direction Award at the Malaga Film Festival.

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About Conservation International

Conservation International uses science, policy and partnerships to protect the nature that people rely on for food, fresh water and livelihoods. Founded in 1987, Conservation International works in more than 30 countries on six continents to ensure a healthy, prosperous planet that supports us all. Learn more about Conservation International, the groundbreaking “Nature Is Speaking” campaign and its series of virtual reality projects: “My Africa”, “Under the Canopy” and “Valen’s Reef.”Follow Conservation International’s work on our Human Nature blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

About Jungles in Paris

Jungles in Paris, founded in 2013 and based in New York City, tells stories about nature and culture. We use a range of media to explore planet Earth in all its multi-colored diversity, with a special focus on roots and place. Spotlighting craft, culture, geography and wildlife, we aim to celebrate subjects — human and non-human alike — that are often at risk of extinction in a globalized, growth-driven 21st century. We prioritize the local, the endemic, the time-honored, and the meaningful. Rather than pure advocacy, we practice purpose-driven media. We aim in our work to restore a sense of enchantment around the things that matter, employing creative nonfiction methods to propose a more enlightened way of engaging with the ecosystems and cultural possibilities around us.