Documentary THE HADZA: LAST OF THE FIRST to Premiere at Environmental Film Festival
Award-winning filmmaker Bill Benenson announced today that his latest documentary film, The Hadza: Last Of The First, will have its World Premiere at the Environmental Film Festival in Washington, D.C. on March 24th at 7pm. The film is presented in association with The Nature Conservancy, which is working to conserve the homelands of Africa's Hadza tribe one of the world's last remaining hunter/gatherer groups.
The Hadza: Last Of The First, now in post-production and narrated by Emmy Award-winning actress Alfre Woodard, takes a look at human origins in Africa's Rift Valley, where the Hadza, one of the last remaining hunter/gatherer groups in Africa, have lived sustainably on their land for at least 50,000 years (and possibly as long as two million years). This makes the Hadza the last people on the planet who have lived continuously as our earliest ancestors did in the exact place of our collective birth. Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o, Ms. Woodard's co-star in the film 12 Years a Slave, is the film's Swahili consultant and translator.
"We are honored that the Environmental Film Festival and The Nature Conservancy have chosen to support our story of a remarkable, self-sustaining people who can help illuminate our past while teaching us unexpected lessons about how humans might better live cooperatively in the future," said Bill Benenson. "And we are thrilled that the gifted artists Alfre Woodard and Lupita Nyong'o have shared their prodigious talents in the service of our film."
"The Nature Conservancy's long-standing commitment to protecting nature for people today and future generations via a non-confrontational, collaborative approach is beautifully reflected in the Hadza's way of life," said Geof Rochester, Chief Marketing Officer of TNC. "We are delighted to be a part of Bill Benenson's graceful telling of their important story."
About The Filmmakers:
Bill Benenson (Director/Producer) is best known for his award-winning documentaries Dirt! The Movie, The Marginal Way and Diamond Rivers. In addition to his recent The Hadza: Last of the First, Bill is currently working on a documentary about the search for a lost Pre-Columbian city in Central America using LIDAR technology, work for which he was awarded the prestigious Leading Global Thinkers Award from Foreign Policy magazine and garnered expansive media coverage: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2013/05/06/130506fa_fact_preston). His feature films include Boulevard Nights, The Lightship, A Walk on the Moon, Mister Johnson, and Who Bombed Judi Bari? Bill, who served in the Peace Corps in Brazil, is a passionate environmentalist and supporter of The Nature Conservancy, The Natural Resources Defense Council, Conservation International, Bioneers, RainForest Action Network, Defenders of Wildlife, and the Union of Concerned Scientists.
Laurie Benenson (Executive Producer) is a writer, editor and journalist. She founded Movieline magazine in 1985 and went on to write about film and television for The New York Times Sunday Arts and Leisure section. An avid environmentalist, Benenson is a board member of Tree People and The Violence Policy Center, and also serves on the action forum of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Rainforest Action Network and Conservation International. Laurie wrote a screenplay about pioneering environmentalist Rachel Carson, author of "Silent Spring," and is currently writing a novel about her travel around Europe, through the Middle East, into India and back by land.
Alfre Woodard (Narrator) One of most accomplished and talented actresses of her generation, Alfre Woodard won a Best Actress Golden Globe Award for "Miss Evers' Boys," earned an Oscar nomination for Cross Creek, and has won four Primetime Emmys (Miss Evers' Boys, Hill Street Blues, LA Law, and The Practice) in a prolific film and TV career that has spanned over three decades. Woodard has worked primarily in drama, starring in films including Passion Fish, Grand Canyon, Crooklyn and Down in the Delta and such diverse TV productions as PBS's Go Tell It On The Mountain and ABC's Desperate Housewives. Woodard was a recent Screen Actors Guild nominee for outstanding performance by a female actor in a lead role for the 2012 TV film Steel Magnolias.
The Environmental Film Festival
The 2013 the Environmental Film Festival presented a record 190 documentary, narrative, animated, archival, experimental, and children's films, including 110 Washington, D.C., United States and world premieres, hosting 94 filmmakers and almost 200 special guests who participated in film introductions and post-screening discussions. Over 31,000 people attended the Festival and 80 percent of the programs were offered free to the public. http://www.dcenvironmentalfilmfest.org/
The Nature Conservancy
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. The Nature Conservancy's Hadza Project: