Private Project

Baobabs between Land and Sea

By their sheer size and original shapes, baobabs are among the most remarkable trees on the planet. Relatively unknown in Madagascar, these giants are currently threatened by deforestation. To study them, in the heart of their forests, Cyrille Cornu and Wilfried Ramahafaly travel by pirogue, exploring 400 km of wild and isolated coastline in the south-west of Madagascar.

  • Cyrille Cornu
  • Cyrille Cornu
  • Cyrille Cornu
  • Thüryn Mitchell (english version)
    Voice over
  • Lile Cargueray (french version)
    Voice over
  • D'Gary
  • Audio Network
  • Jean-Michel Petit
  • Laurence Guennec
  • Cyrille Cornu
    Sound mixing
  • Cyrille Cornu
  • Cyrille Cornu
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    Baobabs entre Terre et Mer
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Feature
  • Runtime:
    55 minutes 10 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    February 9, 2015
  • Production Budget:
    7,000 EUR
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
    English, French, Other
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital (5D mark III) 1080p 25i
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • 1st International Nature Film Festival Gödöllö
    Budapest (Hungary)
    May 17, 2015
    World Premiere
    Finalist nomination
  • 1st Viva Film Festival
    Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
    May 31, 2015
    Bosnian Premiere
    Grand Prix
  • 6th The IndieFEST Film Awards
    La Jolla (USA)
    North American Premiere
    Award of Merit: Nature / Environment / Wildlife
  • 2nd Roma Cinema Doc
    Roma (Italy)
    Italian Premiere
    Special Mention for Photography
  • 1st Wolves Independent International Film
    Saldutiskis (Lituania)
    August 28, 2015
    Lithuanian Premiere
    Best Feature
  • 9th Green Screen
    Eckernförde (Allemagne)
    September 11, 2015
    German Premiere
    Nomination in Best Independent Production
  • 6th Awareness Film Festival
    Los Angeles (USA)
    Los Angeles Premiere
    Award of Merit of Awareness
  • 2nd Africlap
    Toulouse (France)
    September 6, 2015
    French Premiere
    Finalist nomination
  • 13th Matsalu International Nature Film Festival
    Tallinn (Estonia)
    September 17, 2015
    Estonian premiere
    Special Prize of the Jury
  • 2nd CinemaFest
    San Luis Potosi (Mexico)
    September 22, 2015
    Mexican premiere
    Finalist nomination
  • 27th Festival des Globe-trotters
    Massy (France)
    September 26, 2015
    Paris Premiere
    Non-competitive Screening
  • 15th Innsbruck Nature Film Festival
    Innsbruck (Austria)
    October 9, 2015
    Austrian premiere
    Finalist nomination
  • 8th CMS Vatavaran
    New Delhi (India)
    October 10, 2015
    Asian Premiere
    Nomination in Environmental Conservation category
  • 8th Kuala Lumpur Eco Film Festival
    Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)
    October 16, 2015
    Malaysian Premiere
    Non-competitive Screening
  • 6th Wildlife Conservation Film Festival
    New York (USA)
    October 17, 2015
    New York Premiere
    Finalist nomination
  • 1st Wildlife Film Festival Rotterdam
    Rotterdam (Netherlands)
    October 31, 2015
    Dutch Premiere
    Finalist nomination
  • 1st Arohanui Film Festival
    Waikato (New Zealand)
    November 30, 2015
    New Zealand premiere
    Non-competitive Screening
  • 28th Sondrio festival
    Sondrio (Italy)
    November 7, 2015
    Sondrio Premiere
    First Prize
  • 1st Tassie eco Film Fest
    Hobart (Australia)
    November 21, 2015
    Australian Premiere
    Honorable Mention
  • 1st International Peace & Film Festival
    Orlando (USA)
    November 14, 2015
    Orlando Premiere
    Avante-Garde and Enlightenment Awards
  • 2nd Tinai Eco Film Festival
    Goa (India)
    Goa premiere
    Finalist nomination
3th International Film Festival for Documentary, Short and Comedy Jakarta
    Jakarta (Indonesia)
    November 20, 2015
    Indonesia Premiere
    International Award of Excellence
  • 1st All Lights India International Film Festival
    Kerala (India)
    November 17, 2015
    Kerala Premiere
    Finalist nomination
  • 4th IndiEarth XChange
    Chennai (India)
    November 27, 2015
    Chennai Premiere
    Non-competitive Screening
  • 3rd Filmmakers of the Year Film Festival
    Jakarta (Indonesia)
    November 27, 2015
    Jakarta Premiere
    Platinum Award
  • 9th Cinéma Vérité - Iran International Documentary Film Festival
    Teheran (Iran)
    December 6, 2015
    Iran Premiere
    Non-competitive Screening
  • Euro-In Film
    Belgrade (Serbia)
    December 15, 2015
    Serbian Premiere
    Non-competitive Screening
  • 3rd Festival du Film de Masuku Nature et Environnement
    Libreville (Gabon)
    December 10, 2015
    Gabon Premiere
    Finalist nomination
  • 47th Festival International du Film maritime, d'Exploration et d'Environnement
    Toulon (France)
    December 19, 2015
    Toulon Premiere
    Finalist nomination
  • 1st Lisbon International Film Festival
    Lisbon (Portugal)
    December 20, 2015
    Portugal Premiere
    Finalist nomination
  • 9th Kirloskar Vasundhara International Film Festival
    Kirloskar (India)
    January 6, 2016
    Kirloskar Premiere
    Finalist nomination
  • 1st Los Angeles CineFest
    Los Angeles (USA)
    January 14, 2016
    Finalist nomination
  • 2nd Atlas Awards
    Boston (USA)
    January 13, 2016
    Boston Premiere
    Finalist nomination
  • 3rd Boston Independent Film Festival
    Boston (USA)
    February 9, 2016
    Best Documentary
  • 1st Finow International Film & Script Festival
    Finow (Germany)
    February 19, 2016
    Finow Premiere
    Finalist nomination
  • 7th EcoCup - International Green Documentary Film Festival
    Moscow (Russia)
    February 25, 2016
    Moscow Premiere
    Finalist nomination
  • 6th RVA Environmental Film Festival
    Richmond (USA)
    February 26, 2016
    Richmond Premiere
    Non-competitive Screening
  • 2nd Festival International du film environnemental de Conakry
    Conakry (Guinea)
    March 15, 2016
    Africa Premiere
    Finalist nomination
  • 3th Filmmakers World Festival
    March 16, 2016
    Platinum Award
  • 7th Back to Nature Film Festival
    Sonora (USA)
    March 24, 2016
    Sonora Premiere
    Best Feature
  • 24th Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital
    Washington DC (USA)
    March 24, 2016
    Washington DC Premiere
    Finalist nomination
  • 1st Golden Camera
    Bishkek (Kirghizistan)
    March 22, 2016
    Kirghizistan Premiere
    Best documentary
  • 5th Angkor Wat International Film Festival
    March 27, 2016
    Screening without competition
  • 11th Festival du Film Vert
    March 6, 2016
    Porrentruy Premiere
    Finalist nomination
  • 3rd The Cape Town Eco Film Festival
    Cape Town
    South Africa
    April 2, 2016
    South African Premiere
    Finalist nomination
  • 13th Terra Festival
    April 18, 2016
    Guadeloupe Premiere
    Premier Prix
  • 1st Movie Park Adventures&Action Film Festival & Script Contest
    Los Angeles
    United States
    April 21, 2016
    Finalist nomination
  • 51th Olomouc International Festival of Science Documentary Film
    Czech Republic
    April 20, 2016
    Czech Republic Premiere
    Finalist nomination
Director Biography - Cyrille Cornu

Cyrille was born at Bourges, France in 1968. He has been researching ecological issues for over ten years, studying tropical dry forests and using satellite images to characterize their biodiversity, degree of deforestation and the impacts of climate change. His work has led him to travel to many countries. For the last seven years he has focused on the baobabs of Madagascar and has become one of the world’s leading specialists. Each year he organizes unique expeditions that use local traditional transport to access the heart of isolated forests that are home to the baobabs.

The island of Madagascar is a great source of inspiration for filmmakers and photographers. It is unique in many ways. Its biodiversity and landscapes are exceptional, and the social diversity is remarkable. Cyrille has been a keen photographer for many years but with Baobabs between Land and Sea, his first documentary film, he has evolved to another level. The desire to share his adventures is at the heart of his approach to filming, sharing his travels through nature and encounters with the people living in wild regions.

The story of his first film is intimately related to traveling. Content and form change to the rhythm of different encounters and discoveries placing the viewer at the very heart of the voyage.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

Since boyhood, nature, trees, and the forest have fascinated me. I first encountered baobabs in 1979 during a stay in Senegal with my parents. Even though I was not yet ten-years old, I fell under their spell. But it was another thirty years before I was to meet them again in Madagascar. They are powerful beings, mysterious, exciting. So exciting that six years ago I settled here on the Red Island to study them.

The island of Madagascar is a great source of inspiration for filmmakers and photographers. Nature and landscapes are exceptional. Cultural diversity is also remarkable. I have photographed the island, its people and its nature for many years. With Baobab between Earth and Sea, I drew up a new objective: to share one of our expeditions in a documentary film as my first realization. The film chronicles a trip in June 2013 between the towns of Morondava and Tulear in Madagascar's southwest. We journeyed for twenty-two days by pirogue to explore four hundred kilometers of rugged coastline. The film reveals our findings, our encounters and our scientific results. The narrative is intimately related to travel. Content and form change the rhythm of encounters and discoveries in an attempt to place the spectator at the heart of the adventure. The film is self-produced with a micro budget of around 7000 euros.

I worked alone for shooting, sound and editing. I had a clear idea about the movie I wanted to produce, and the best way to achieve this was to do it myself. Not easy! Especially when one is constrained by the time-consuming exigencies of a researcher. One has also to learn many techniques and assemble everything for the overall production. It’s fabulous! We spent a long time, with taking into account building such a story that gradually born through drifting experience. The most difficult was to cut the umbilical cord and let the film live. At least two hundred hours of work anyway!

For music, I had the good fortune to work with an exceptional Malagasy guitarist D'Gary. Initially, D'Gary was to advise me in the selection of musical illustrations. After viewing the film, he offered to participate in the studio and record some songs. A great chance! The musician is a talented jazz pianist Thuryn Mitchell, who lends his powerful voice, adding a measured and sensitive quality to the commentary. Then a wonderful collaboration with Laurence Guennec who provided the visuals for the movie poster, and also with Jean-Michel who provided brilliantly calibrated images. For my next projects, I'd like to work further with this team.

A few months after its release, the film was selected and awarded by many festivals in the field of the environment but also by general festivals. It has been selected by Green Screen, Germany; the Innsbruck Nature Film Festival in Austria; CMS Vatavaran in New Delhi; Kuala Lumpur Eco Film Festival in Indonesia; the Wildlife Conservation Film Festival in New York and the Wildlife Film Festival, Rotterdam in the Netherlands. The film has won thirteen awards including a special jury prize at Matsalu International Nature Film Festival in Estonia, the first prize at the Sondrio International Documentary Film Festival on Parks in Italy, two awards at the International Peace & Film Festival in Orlando and the Viva grand prize film Festival in Sarajevo. I am of course delighted and surprised by such success. I think the outstanding subject of the film has much to offer. In the coming months, the documentary is competing in twenty leading festivals including the International Green Documentary Film Festival in Russia, the Cape Town Eco Film in the South Africa Festival and the famous Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's capital in Washington which is the most important film festival on the theme of the environment in the world!

I am currently preparing a second film on the baobab trees of the north of the island of Madagascar and in particular on the two rarest species Adansonia suarezensis and A. perrieri! The second documentary is ‘in the can’. I shot the images in November 2014 during a second expedition by canoe between the cities of Mahajanga and Diego Suarez. In the coming years, I would like to visit the last portion of west coast that we have not yet explored, between Morondava and Mahajanga. I also plan to fly a para-motor tandem and film extremely remote and inaccessible baobab forests.