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10 Must-See Movies about Rivers at KLEFF2018

10 Must-See Movies about Rivers at KLEFF2018

Nila – A River of Sere Sands

Film maker: Samvid Anand
Country of origin: India

The film is a page of the current state of Kerala’s (a Southern Indian State) second largest river Nila (a.k.a. Bharathapuzha). The river has dried up due to excessive human activities, major one being incessant sand mining for more than thirty years. It shows how people along the river bank lose their way of living and resort to gambling (playing cards for money is illegal in India) to kill time. Rajan is a Jobless man, his mentally challenged mother in law and wife; she is a lone lady fighting a long legal battle against powerful sand miners in-spite of strong opposition and struggle to meet even advocate’s fees.   The utmost shortage of water and dependency on infrequent supply of water through government public distribution system is depicted.  90% of the frames were shot in the middle of the dried river bed. Hence the audience will get a feel that even the river bed with its sere sands is one of the main characters that tells a melancholic tale of its own, through the sounds arising from the dusty winds and tread of humans on its bosom!


Film maker: Ashwini Kumar Bhat
Country of origin: India

This documentary is about a river of the Western Ghats of India – “Aghanashini”, which is a unique river from the perspective that it still flows in its natural course due to absence of any dams to change its flow and it doesn’t have any industries along its path to pollute its water. In that sense, so far it remains untamed and unpolluted by man.  There has been no effort till now to document the uniqueness of this river through its entire length.     In the time when ‘development’ is the mantra of any government in the country, there exists this silent river which is holding onto its ground and nurturing the land and forest and thus becoming a river of life for hundreds of thousands of people along with its flow.  Made over a span of two years, the film covers the story of the river via various stories along its flow, some of which are shot for the first time.

Keeper of the Creek

Film maker: Dan Goldes
Country of origin: United States

For 8 years, Joel Goldes has taken responsibility for cleaning the creek near his home in Oak Park, CA. He’s removed hundreds of pounds of garbage and trapped thousands of invasive crawdads, proving that one person really can make a difference.

River of Life Expedition

Film maker: Linus Chung
Country of origin: Malaysia

What is you wanted to experience the River of Life up close for yourself? How would you do it? What if you wanted to kayak down the River of Life? Where would you put your kayak in? Where would you take it out? What would you want to document and capture? This short video shows one such expedition led by a Member of Parliament to see for himself what the River of Life project is all about, up close and personal.

Reclaiming Our Heritage: The Social Life of the Gombak River

Film makers: Muhammad Hafiz Ardian Shah & Raisalih Juhan
Country of origin: Malaysia

This documentary is about the relationship between humans and rivers. Our early civilizations were born on the banks of rivers and we continue to thrive with rivers at the heart of cities. Yet through our actions we choke and degrade rivers. Reclaiming our Heritage is a documentary that explores the social relationship between humans and rivers. Focusing on the Gombak River and speaking with experts, we are made to appreciate that the solution to river rehabilitation lies with us. A healthy river benefits us as well as the ecosystem that grows out from it. In rehabilitating rivers we are reclaiming an important part of our natural heritage.

Let Me Tell You a Story

Film maker: Nadya Husna Keumala
Country of origin: Indonesia

This is a video that tells about our current condition. This video takes a reservoir located in Lhokseumawe as an example of what is happening on our earth. Hopefully with this video we can be more aware to save our earth environment. Just like getting used to throw the garbage in its place.


Film maker: Izaq Yuzaini Bin Ismail
Country of origin: Malaysia

“Tandus” is a story about three young men who often waste water in their rented homes. They are Marko, Amir and Syamsul. Each of them had its own way of wasting water. Amir often bathed for a long time until his friend is late to go to work. Syamsul, often washed his car without turning off the water pipes until it gets flooded. While Marco had the biggest mistake, he just let the water wastage to happen, without reprimanding Amir and Syamsul. One night, they all had a same dream. Their dream is about the three of them in the world of sudden extinction of water, where the earth was turbulent and people were killing each other to get water. A clan called “wethead’ killed people just to take water from them to survive. Three of them had to survive together, scavenging to survive the post-apocalyptic world. Syamsul thought that there is a Water Goddess who made all water disappeared just to give lesson to humanity – which was a silly thought to Marco and Amir.  In that dream, the three of them blamed each other for abusing the usage of water. Until they were magically summoned to the future where earth is barren and dry like a dessert. They met the Water Goddess who summoned them at the dessert.

Mr. Garbage

Film maker: Mark Lee
Country of origin: Malaysia

The journey of how an ordinary technician making extraordinary actions to his community. He protects the Life beneath land, making sure the waters in his hometown clean. Making positive change is a lifelong journey, persistence counts!

The Ancient People of Namibia

Film maker: Burak Dogansoysal
Country of origin: Turkey

The southwest coast of Africa is a geography defined by deserts and resources are scarce. Water is very limited or simply unavailable. However, there are people that have managed to survive such formidable and unforgiving conditions for at least 30 thousand years. The Bushmen, who have inhabited these lands forever, are one of the few remaining hunter-gatherer communities on the planet today. In this episode, we walk for days on endless plains with the Bushmen, hunt and gather by traditional methods, take a peek at the colourful life of the Himba people and witness how the Topnaar have survived in the harsh desert conditions with the help of one peculiar fruit. This is the story of the ancient people of Namibia whose ancestors seem to have left a trace on every grain of desert sand around them.

The Drip - A Wettish Tale

Film maker: Tim Britton
Country of origin: United Kingdom

A stop-frame animation exploring the issues that our water faces from pollution and misuse – from Source to Sea – all told in 5 minutes by a pencil, a brush and a hand. A serious subject told in a humorous and accessible style to reach audiences of all ages and not just the environmentally aware.  Written, animated, filmed and voiced by Tim Britton, writer, performer and artist with the multi-media company Forkbeard Fantasy. Commissioned by South Devon Catchments Partnership, the U.K’s Environment Agency and 3 others.

Her, River

Film makers: Muhamad Baseer, Batrishia Nurin & Asyraf Zaki
Country of origin: Malaysia

The river that was once a friend by a man was left due to the vast development of technology and industrialism begins to notice that she is getting dirtier and more toxic. Left without a care, she begs for help but to no avail. But finally, two children of the new generation come to be friends with her again.

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