Raphia “Arbre de vie” (Tree of life)

This documentary is one of the outputs of the RAPHIA project led by the French institution IRD (Interactive Research & Development) regarding multidimensional approaches to the socioeconomics, resilience and sustainable harvesting of Raphia species (palm trees) in Cameroon.

The RAPHIA project is all about showing to the local population of Cameroon how useful this tree is and how to exploit it .

Awarded Best Short Film in the category Nature Film & Photo at the 2016 Belgium Drone Festival, a special avant-première screening of the film followed by a Q&A debate took place at the Vendôme cinema in Brussels. A photography exhibition has also been organised for the film.

This film complements a second documentary that is due early december 2016 (“à l’échelle du Raphia”; “on Raphia and Man” (29 mins, directed by Joseph Fumtim & Thomas Couvreur, IRD).

Behind The Scenes

The film was led under the scientific supervision of Dr.Thomas Couvreur, researcher in tropical biodiversity evolution and leading the RAPHIA project.

The projection event was really special to me because it gathered together more than 100 people, including a lot of friends, family and colleagues. The Q&A session was a pleasant moment during which the public got acquainted with the RAPHIA project, Raphia palms, Africa and the technical difficulties of droning.

But above all, this project represented a unique occasion to accompany a scientific team. Travelling along with a team of science experts allowed me to go through a lot of open doors, and meet people who were really receptive to our work.

Technically speaking, shooting in the forest presented a great challenge, especially because of the heat, humidity and the narrowness of the places we chose to caption there.

The result are outstanding images, and an invaluable adventure.