RUMBLE IN PARADISE: THE DILEMMA OF THE MAASAI

October 12th, 2014 | by Ashyln Molly

Rumble in Paradise will be a 122 minutes documentary film, to be released in April 2010, aimed at exposing the dilemma of people living with wildlife in Africa with particular reference to the Maasai. The tragedy of the Maasai under the rule of wildlife conservation, irresponsible tourism and bad development is so deep, it is shocking. That wildlife exists in East Africa at all is because pastoralists, like the Maasai, did not kill wild animals; a point seriously missed by the international wildlife conservation movement and policy makers in Africa.

The film will also examine how the indigenous societies such as the Maasai co-existed with wildlife for millennium. It will also explain what happened to wild species like rhinos and others, which are reportedly on the brink of extinction. Tanzania, for example, had “over 10,000 rhinos less than 22 years ago but ‘poachers’ have drastically reduced their numbers to around 60″ (The EastAfrican [Nairobi] January 31, 2005). The rhinos have continued to disappear mysteriously, despite tight security, so much so that “less than 50 rhinoceroses survive in Tanzania today” (Arusha Times [Arusha] June 14, 2008). Wildlife must survive as long as human beings do. Tanzania must stop wildlife hunting.

Hunting is permitted in the laws of Tanzania. You need only $4,000 to kill an elephant for fun. Thousands of elephants are killed every year as are several other wild species. Wild animals are disappearing in this yet the Maasai are punished.

While state-sponsored hunters continue slaughtering wild animals in Tanzania, several international wildlife conservation agencies, such as WWF, African Wildlife Foundation, International Union for Conservation of Nature, Frankfurt Zoological Society and many others sit transfixed in Tanzania as if nothing is happening. They instead support Government policies that lead to forceful evictions of people like the Maasai from their ancestral lands to make room for national parks. Over 70 percent of the land that once belonged to the Maasai is today under national parks. These parks attracts tourists who bring in millions of dollars annually but the Maasai, who lost a huge part of their territory and a people who killed no animals, get almost nothing.

The Government admits that there are 42,000 Maasai in Ngorongoro. Every year, however, over 450,000 tourists visit the area. The central reason for eviction of the Maasai is to give room for a paradise for the rich of this world. These powerful and rich tourists include Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton and Laura, George and Jenna Bush. Others are Her Majesty the Queen of Denmark, Margreth II, and His Royal Highness, the Price Consort, Bill Gates, the late Pope John Paul II, Ambassador Andrew Young, Rev. Jesse Jackson and Chris Tucker. Others still are John Wayne, Tom Hanks, Ann Curry, Angelina Jolie and even David Beckham and Bono. This film will track down and document how their luxurious lifestyle in Africa is directly responsible for landlessness and dilemma of the Maasai.

Tour companies that bring their clients to Tanzania and other investors further intensify the calamity by grabbing even the marginal lands reserved for the Maasai. These evictions involve the police shooting and killing the Maasai.
The power of this story based on testimonials

This is a powerful story. In February 2009 Thomas Backwill, a documentary film editor, edited a 15 minutes pilot film. The raw footage was shot with a very poor quality camera, without a tripod, and without good sound equipments. Nevertheless the raw pilot was send to a few around the world. They say:

1. ‘…This is a very strong story my friend.’ Hubert Sauper, Director of the Oscar winning Darwin’s Nightmare documentary film.

2. ‘I just watched your video. Very interesting. These are important issues that the rest of the world needs to know about.’ Erica Johansson, Editor, Travel Blissful.

3. ‘Congratulations Navaya! You have produced an informative and thoughtful as well as visually interesting piece.’ Rudolph C. Ryser, PhD, Chair of the Board, Center for World Indigenous Studies, Olympia, Washington DC, USA.

4. ‘…The pilot looks like you are off to a great start.’ Nikki Keegan, New Zealand.

5. ‘I did get the film to download; it took some time but was of very good quality running.’ Bob McIntosh, EWS Business Faculty, the Evergreen State College.

6. ‘…I was able to watch the piece that Thomas edited together. I think you have a good project and hope you are able to finish it. Thomas has done a nice job of pulling together good segments to use. I also liked the voiceover.’ Laura H. Congleton, documentary film Editor, New York, United States.

7. ”I have now seen the pilot. My first impression was; it has important information.’ AslakMikal Mienna. NJ, former Cameraman, Saami TV, Kautokeino, Norway.

8. ‘…It is griping.’ Christina Wambui, film Editor, Camerapix, Nairobi, Kenya.

These testimonials springs from a pilot shot with a camera which is a little bigger than a mobile phone and without a tripod as well as sound equipment. In effect some clips are shaking while strong winds hit the camera and similar shortcomings. The pilot can be viewed here. Once funding is secured the best equipment will be purchased, the best film crew will be employed to start filming for this project. A better and shorter pilot film will also be edited to replace the first pilot. (See it here http://www.dirtyprettypost.com/cut_1-navaya-H.264.mov.)

The capital needed to make this project a reality

As shown above this is a very powerful story. It is a very expensive venture however. To make it fast and without compromising its quality, £460,000 is needed. See the budget for details. Is this not a low budget for a serious documentary film? £460,000 is approximately a third of the cost of an equivalent production. We are able to do this, without any loss in the quality of the final product, and meeting the February 2010 deadline because; (1) the film director has been researching this subject since 2000 and so most of the information is at hand (2) we have most of the skills and the best editors willing to edit this film at reduced salaries since they are very sympathetic to this cause (3) most of archive contacts for footage and stills are established and the prices are known (4) end credit music license price has been established and the negotiations are going on for other few songs (5) filming costs in Tanzania, where the documentary film is focused, are comparatively low.

Spread the word, invest and donate

We all have friends. More importantly we all have friends who share our passions and interests. So when you discover a project that NEEDS your help to be made, share it with the friends who would want to see it made too. Send this message across your mailing list, personal websites, social networking sites and blogs. Spread the word and help the project build an audience. Please forward the trailer and this message to your mailing list and publish it on your website, blog, facebook and others. Kindly ask the recipients to do the same in turn. Also discuss it with your colleagues, fans, friends, family, relatives and neighbors. Encourage them to take action (contribute money, invest, share, endorse, rate and comment) to help raise funds and expand this audience. Every little bit counts.
In 4 emails and 9 days, Robert Greenwald and Jim Gilliam raised over $267,000 from their fans to fill the financing gap for their film IRAQ FOR SALE.

Contact details: If you wish to get the detailed film proposal and contribute please contact Navaya ole Ndaskoi at navayand@gmail.com and telephone number +255 754 453 192.

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