Cuando named official selection for 6th Annual Riviera International Film Festival – National Geographic Society Newsroom

Liguria, Italy May 10, 2022 – National Geographic Okavango Wildderness Project (NGOWP) movie, KuanduOfficially selected for the sixth year Riviera International Film Festival (RIFF) held from May 10-15 in Sestri Levante, Liguria, Italy. The film, which will be shown on May 12 and 13, will be one of only ten documentaries screened at RIFF, an international competition dedicated to highlighting the work of filmmakers under the age of 35 that deals with social and environmental themes.

The highly anticipated follow-up to the award-winning NGOWP movie in OkavangoAnd Kuandu It is a story in Portuguese of a young Angolan fisherman named Elias Ngonja. Chasing his past as a child soldier and unsure of his future, Elias joins a team of international scientists to explore one of Angola’s least scientifically understood rivers. A journey in despair reveals a growing interest in birds and a fervent hope that his homeland can have a future rooted in protecting its wonderful natural wonders and unique landscapes for generations to come.

Kuandu It works as part of NGOWP’s larger conservation initiative, in partnership with the Wild Bird Trust, to secure lasting protection for the Greater Okavango Basin through multi-year baseline scientific data collection, storytelling, and community engagement.

The movie was nominated by Argentine actress, producer and activist Mia Maestro said:

“Kwando is a beautiful film in which one can witness the untouched lands of the often invisible Okavango Zambezi water tower. The personal story of a young Angolan striving to become a servant of his land as he joins the Okavango Wilderness Project in protecting his heritage while discovering a rich ecosystem filled with new species for science that can Angola brings hope in a green environment and climate-forward economy. A great film directed by Kaya Ensor to understand the work of one of the most important expeditions taking place in the world these days.”

In response to their selection, the team made the following observations:

Kaya Ansor, Director Kuandu

“We made this film for Angola – to inspire people to care and protect their wild spaces like the Okavango River Basin. Choosing our film for the Riviera Film Festival not only acknowledges all the hard work that went into making this film, but also acknowledges the importance of Elias’ story and the work of the National Geographic Okavango Wilderness project” .

Steve Boyes, National Geographic Explorer and Okavango Wilderness Project Team Leader

The Kwando and Kimbo rivers are among the most beautiful remaining wild rivers in Africa. Crystal clear in its sources and support an abundance of life downstream. this movie, Kuanduproduced in Portuguese and focused on Angolan explorers to inspire locals to take an interest in these incredibly wild and important rivers in what was known as “Terra do fim do Mundo”, “the land at the end of the earth”.

This remote part of Angola is the cornerstone of the future of elephants in Africa and the Kavango Zambezi region, the world’s largest transboundary conservation area – an area that crosses national borders; In this case, include five countries. There are not many places on earth that are savage and pure.”


Since 2015, the National Geographic Okavango Wilderness Project has been surveying and collecting scientific data about the Okavango River system and working with local communities; Non-governmental organizations ; and the governments of Angola, Namibia and Botswana to secure lasting and sustainable protection for the greater Okavango River Basin.

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