Posted January 2012 – Local Maldivian film-maker Aminath Najeeb has won an international film award for her documentary entitled ‘No Coral, No Maldives‘.  The film, which was completed in 2011 in conjunction with local TV channel MNBC1, describes some of the environmental challenges that face the Maldives.  The issue of damage to coral reefs is covered, and our work at Reefscapers is shown to be an effective method of reef regeneration.

The ASEAN science film festival 2011, organised by the Goethe-Institut, has just finished screening with record audiences across the region – Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam.  The Goethe-Institut is Germany’s worldwide cultural institution, designed to promote the study of German language abroad and encourage international cultural exchange.

The Science Film Festival, started in 2005, presents films which communicate technological and scientific issues accessibly and entertainingly to a broad audience.   Award Winners 2011 – The Science Film Festival bestows six awards chosen by an international jury.

In 2011 there were over 150 films from 18 countries, a selection of which comprised the festival programme in each of the host countries. The Science Film Festival presents a variety of films in the following categories, with a particular focus on content for young audiences – Family Edutainment, Ecology and Environment, Natural Science, Life Science and Technology, Culture and History.

The Ecofilmprize – honors the film that makes an exceptional effort to communicate and proliferate environmental awareness. Ecological issues are discussed and explained clearly. The film inspires to care about nature and cultivates a sense of responsibility in that respect.

Award winner : No Coral No Maldives – the jury honors this film, which introduces another threat to the existence of the Maldives besides rising sea levels – the destruction of the coral reefs also directly affects these islands. After explaining the problem, the film shows that there is a solution if we get involved in solving it. Marine biologists and volunteers created a “metal frame” as a vessel for new corals to propagate. Some hotels for example encourage visitors to take part in this project by donating money and getting the chance to put this “metal frame” into the sea. “No Coral, No Maldives” not only educates viewers to this lesser known problem but offer a solution to save this beautiful paradise – a film worthy of the Ecofilmprize.

No Coral, No Maldives
Director: Aminath Najeeb
Produced by: CFI, IRD, in cooperation with Maldives National Broadcasting Cooperation (MNBC)
Year: 2010
Country: France / Maldives
Length: 13 min.

[M]aldives is formed with 100% coral, creating a rich marine diversity. The coral reefs are 7th largest in the world making up some 5% of the global reef areas. The coral reef of the Maldives is home to 250 species of coral and over 1000 fish species. Lying only 2.5 m above sea level Maldives is one of the countries most threatened by sea level rise.

Global Warming has become a major challenge of the 21st century. Acting to counter the most pessimistic forecasts, preventing political and economical imbalance and providing information are major goals for the responsible media. Yet environmental subjects such as coral reefs damage in the Maldives are still rarely covered on television, and we note a lack of knowledge of these ecosystems by local population. That is why scientific documentaries are so important to increase awareness through visual information.

You can watch the complete 13 minute film here – No Coral, No Maldives –