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  • Writer's pictureCian Hamilton

About Akashinga: The Brave Ones

One of the most exciting projects we've worked on is a short documentary called Akashinga: The Brave Ones. It is a National Geographic short produced by James Cameron and Directed by Maria Wilhelm.

The film is about the Akashinga Warriors as they are known; an all female, all vegan anti-poaching unit in Zimbabwe set up by Damien Mander. The reason this film was so incredible to work on, besides the beautiful and powerful story, was the collaborative process we strived for from the very beginning. We worked incredibly closely with director, Maria Wilhelm, the two producers, Kim Butts and Drew Pulley and Reel Life Productions, a Zimbabwean film production company. With a team of only six filmmakers, we worked together from concept to completion. Before production, we all sat down together for a full day and wrote up a detailed director's treatment where all ideas were explored as a unit.

It was incredibly refreshing to work with a team that valued everyone's input and all ideas put forward were considered seriously. I can't thank Maria, Kim and Drew enough for the incredible opportunity. And especially Micaela Hamilton and Neil Fairlie of Reel Life Productions for bringing me in on this project.

Neil's and my job were to be cinematographers; to film the whole project. Micaela brought creative visions to the scenes and operated the drone. But realistically, titles aside, everyone was involved in all aspects of this project, including the incredible Akashinga women.

The documentary has recently won the Impact Award at EarthX Film Festival and received an honourable mention in the Best Short Film category. Akashinga is also on the Official Selection list of Tribeca Film Festival 2020.

We're excited to see what the future holds for the film and we'll keep you all updated.


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