Sand Fishers

Samouté Andrey Diarra, Mali / France, 2012, color, video, 72'
Synopsis

The Bozos in the West African nation of Mali have been renowned for many generations for their skills in the art of fishing. They know the waters of the Niger River better than anyone else, and they are on good terms with the water spirits. In recent years, however, their lives have become increasingly difficult, as fish stocks are declining dramatically due to climate change and drought. Gala is one of many young Bozo men who feel compelled to leave their village and family and go upriver to make some money as a "sand fisher." Together with many others, he fills his pirogue, a traditional wooden boat, with sand and gravel from the river. On arrival in the capital of Bamako, the sand is brought ashore and traded for use in the construction industry. The film follows Gala as he goes about his exhausting work, and shows how competition is becoming increasingly intense - for his own people and for others. We see him on a return visit to his village and talking to his young sons. He urges them not to forget where their roots are, but it's painfully clear that the Bozos' traditional way of life is destined to disappear.

IDFA Awards given out in Durban, Montevideo and Sarajevo August 27, 2015 | Three IDFA Awards were handed out over the summer to promising projects pitched at three international film markets. As part of the awards, all winners will attend IDFA in November.
IDFAcademy Summer School report July 8, 2015 | Emerging filmmakers from all over the world came together for an uncharacteristically hot week in Amsterdam to work on their documentary projects with renowned tutors such as Victor Kossakovsky and Cecilia Lidin.
IBF announces May selection July 7, 2015 | The IDFA Bertha Fund has concluded the second selection round for 2015. Eleven documentary projects from countries like Nepal, Kyrgyzstan, South Sudan, Uruguay and Georgia will be supported by the fund in its classic scheme.
New Media at IDFA 2015 July 7, 2015 | For those interested in the creative potential of digital technology, virtual reality and interactive media, this year's IDFA will have more to offer than ever before.
Errol Morris central guest at IDFA 2015 June 30, 2015 | Renowned filmmaker Errol Morris will compile this year's Top 10 program at IDFA. The festival will also be screening a retrospective of Morris's work.

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