Falling in love with Amazonia: a film

Film director Estevão Ciavatta’s 3D experience, with the expert guidance of an indigenous chief, takes the viewer on an extraordinary journey through the world's largest rainforest threatened by mankind and climate change. The purpose: to raise awareness about its breathtaking beauty, to bring people closer together, to encourage them to care for this piece of Creation

Bianca Fraccalvieri – Vatican City

A virtual tool to warn humans about what is instead frighteningly real and urgent: the systematic destruction of the Amazon rainforest and the need to preserve it. This is the purpose of the 3D film entitled "Amazônia Viva," an immersive experience that unfolds in the region of the Tapajós River in the Brazilian state of Pará.  The documentary uses 360º footage, wide panoramas, and zooms in on details to reveal to the public one of the most important places on the Planet and thus bring the Amazon, the lung of the world, closer to the people. Because only if you love something are you willing to take care of it.

A special guide

The nine-minute "journey" is led by 'cacique' Raquel Tupinambá, a member of the Surucuá community. The indigenous leader, an expert in technology and the environment, takes the viewer on a virtual tour through one of the most relevant, and fascinating natural wonders of the world which, unfortunately, is threatened by human actions. With the help of a visor, the viewer flies over the immense green forest, then follows the trails, crosses the waterways, admiring centuries-old trees, meeting colorful feathered birds, diving with children into the river, and even taking a canoe ride. It is impossible to remain indifferent to such beauty, richness, and exuberance of nature.

The film even takes the viewer along to navigate the rivers and torrents of the Amazon
The film even takes the viewer along to navigate the rivers and torrents of the Amazon

The film’s objective

"This is the mission, the goal of the film: to bring the forest closer to the people, to bring them all the way inside a world that is talked about a lot but about which little is known, to make them experience the environment even if only in a virtual way," explains Carlos Vicente, National Facilitator of the Interfaith Rainforest Initiative (IRI) and creator of the project. The film, in fact, will be one of the main tools IRI will use in its programs to raise awareness, train and engage religious leaders and communities on tropical forest conservation and the protection of indigenous peoples, in accordance too, with Pope Francis' wishes.

Shedding light on environmental disasters

The film was initially released at the COP27 conference held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, last November. For Carlos, this climate conference was very important for Brazil, as all the nations of the world demonstrated concern about rising emissions, which are producing global warming. There is a risk that warming will exceed what was established in the Paris Agreement, which is one and a half degrees. In this context, the Amazon Rainforest plays a key role, because, Carlos explains, "if we continue to destroy, burn, emit CO2, much of the efforts of the whole world could be lost. There is no point in reducing emissions in one place while, for example, the rainforest continues to burn and emit toxins. But on the other hand, it is extremely important that the huge reserve of water, biodiversity, and cultural diversity be preserved for the good of Brazil and humanity."

A land to love and protect
A land to love and protect

The echo of Laudato si’

From Egypt, the film reached the Vatican and possibly Pope Francis. "The Pontiff, with Laudato si' - but the Catholic Church in general," Carlos continues, "are leaders on this issue of caring for the Common Home, caring for nature, for Creation, respecting indigenous peoples, local communities. And the Interfaith Initiative is fundamentally inspired by this mission that the Pope pursues with great determination: taking care of Creation which means taking care of everyone, not only the current generation but also future generations."

And there is nothing better than doing it through art, culture, spirituality, and education too. All of this stems from that incredible inspiration found in the Bible, so well understood and implemented by Pope Francis in his encyclical Laudato si'. In many passages, the Pontiff mentions the Amazon Rainforest, calling it one of the "lungs of the planet, rich in biodiversity."

Time to act

"So, the importance of these places for the entire planet and for the future of humanity cannot be ignored. Tropical forest ecosystems possess a biodiversity of enormous complexity, almost impossible to understand completely, but when these forests are burned or cut down to develop crops or to raise small herds of livestock, also unfortunately by poor people who do not have enough to live on, countless species are lost in a few years and such areas transform from verdant woodlands to arid deserts." In another document, in the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation "Querida Amazonia," Francis describes his idea for the region in the form of four dreams. There, he writes poetically, "water is the queen; rivers and streams resemble veins, and every form of life springs from it." This is precisely what one experiences in the striking 3-D film that encourages us to think a lot. With the screenplay and direction by award-winning director Estevão Ciavatta, of Pindorama Filmes, and funded by the Instituto Clima e Sociedade (iCS), "Amazônia Viva" will be made available free of charge to anyone interested in promoting awareness about protecting the Amazon Rainforest both inside and outside Brazil.

Restoring the alliance between man and the environment is one of the film's objectives
Restoring the alliance between man and the environment is one of the film's objectives

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21 March 2023, 17:04