Throughout history, myths about the “big bad wolf” generated scary stereotypes of the animal that crept out of fairy tales and into human consciousness. By the 1950s, wolves were pushed to the brink of extinction in the lower 48. In this short film, predator becomes protagonist as we learn what happens when the wolf is no longer antagonized, but recognized as the missing link in a healthy ecosystem.
“Over 500 years ago, my tribe arrived on the shores of India from Africa,” says the social worker narrator of Asha Stuart’s Lost Tribe of Africa. His ancestors fled enslavement, escaping into the forest in the Indian state of Karnataka where they live today, most of them Hindu converts. India’s 35,000 descendants of slaves from Africa’s Bantu Region are members of the Siddi tribe. Siddi means “enlightened one,” but the Siddi are “Untouchables” in India’s caste system. “How do you empower the youth in a world whose people think they’re less than human?” asks the narrator, whose life mission is to do just that.
Liberian activist Silas Siakor exposed rampant corruption involving the former Liberian President Charles Taylor and the natural resources industry, which led to the war criminal’s ouster in 2003. Africa’s first democratically elected female head of state Ellen Johnson Sirleaf promises things will be different under her leadership, but Siakor soon suspects the logging companies and the government are continuing to profit by exploiting the nearby villages. Using an app called This Is My Back Yard, or TIMBY, Siakor and his small army of activists document and report with their cellphones illegal permits, forged signatures and a web of collusion, nepotism and misspending of $10 million in Ebola aid. Silas is a portrait of a man dedicated to solving Liberia’s systemic political problems by first protecting the county’s forests and the one million people who live in them.