Eduardo Zappia & Montanha Filmes

From 9th July - 12th August 2009

The Photographer:  EDUARDO ZAPPIA

During the dry season each year, the eco-park Chapada Diamantina in north-east Brazil faces the same problem: bushfires. Last year, history repeated itself, but to a greater extent than ever before. Between September  and November, more than 75000 hectares of the Chapada Diamantina National Park (over 50% of the region) had burnt to dust, along with rare species of plants and local wildlife. Only 10% of the park remained totally unscathed.

Forest Heroes presents some shocking but also aesthetically beautiful images of this ecological disaster.

The photographer Eduardo Zappia is noted for his uncompromising photography and for his photography different kinds of people in Brazil and throughout the world. With a BA in graphic design and a postgraduate degree in photography, he has worked for several national and international publications already, at the beginning of his career.

In October last year he moved away from São Paulo, in search of tranquility. But then the disaster came and, with the park in flames, the photographer joined the fire brigade volunteers of the region and took his camera along. The result was an amazing work that shows the reality of people who risk their lives for nature.

The Fireline in Chapada Diamantina

Documentary from Produtora Montanhas Filmes, Brazil.

The Fireline in Chapada Diamantina (Linha de fogo na Chapada Diamantina) is a documentary that shows one of the most beautiful Brazilian geographical paradises in Bahia, north-east of the country. During the dry season, the Chapada’s precious ecosystem, which is a designated National Park, suffers from bushfires, sometimes damaging as much as one third of the landscape - more than 50000 acres.

In this context, the Montanhas Film Production, based in Lencois, closely documented the fire-fighting efforts, speaking to key people, workers and the government. This project aimed to record all the various opinions on the fire, as well as to document the fight against the fire itself.

There are speculations about the origin of the fire, with allegations that mine workers in protest or farmers could have started it.

The Chapada da Diamantina have volunteers fighting to stop the fire, although they do not have much support for their basic needs. From the government, only six officers are responsible for the care of the whole park, which is not enough to supervise the area.

Passionate about the cause, Montanha Filmes dedicated two months of independent production to the film, creating this unique documentary, which traces, with art and consciousness, the sad Fireline of the Chapada Diamantina.

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