Subjects: African Studies, Environmental Studies, Science and Nature
SILENT FORESTS is an intimate, character-driven portrait of conservationists and activists who are struggling to stop forest elephant poaching in Africa's Congo Basin region.
After a study revealed that more than half the central African forest elephant population has been lost to poaching in the last decade, there has been a concerted effort to save those that remain. SILENT FORESTS will explore this story through a range of dynamic subjects; including one of Cameroon’s first female eco-guards, a grassroots wildlife law enforcement group, a Congolese biologist studying elephant behavior, a reformed elephant poacher, and a team of anti-poaching sniffer dogs led by a Czech conservationist. As passionate and tenacious as these conservationists are, they are up against huge institutional challenges like corruption and lack of funding that threaten to derail all their attempts to fight for the future of the forest elephant.
"...succeeds in bringing us closer to the reality of the crisis, rescuing it from the realm of abstraction.” – Santa Barbara Independent “...Casts an understated yet heroic glow over the people fighting elephant poaching at the forefront... Tempers one’s feelings of anger and injustice with a sense of hope that the people of the region are up for the fight.” – Screen Space “A heart-rending but hope-inspiring documentary.” – Supamodu
- Santa Barbara International Film Festival - Big Sky Documentary Film Festival - D.C. Environmental Film Festival - Taos Environmental Film Festival - Melbourne Documentary Film Festival - Freeland Fim Festival - San Fransisco Green Festival
About the filmmaker
Mariah has produced content for PBS, Netflix, Discovery Channel, National Geographic, A&E, Animal Planet, History Channel, Weather Channel, MSNBC, VICE, Vocativ, Google, and The Smithsonian Institution. Her award-winning films include Revealing Hate (2010, “Courageous Filmmaking” award, Durango Film Festival) which explores the white supremacist movement in America, Volunteer (2012, Honolulu Film Award) follows an eco-volunteering journey in Uganda and Fiji, Kaziranga (2016, Humane Society ACE Award/Grant) examines rhino poaching in India, and Eeya (2017, National Geographic “Wildlife Watch”) is about indigenous communities caught in the crossfire of poaching in Cameroon. Her most recent film Silent Forests is about the fight to save forest elephants from ivory trafficking in Africa’s Congo Basin. It received the Telluride Mountainfilm Commitment Grant, was featured in IFP Spotlight on Docs, Hot Docs Deal Makers and DOC NYC Pro, and has shown at Santa Barbara Film Festival, DCEFF, Big Sky Doc Fest (Finalist – Feature Competition), and Brooklyn Film Festival (Spirit Award). As a producer, Mariah has worked on Andrew Berends’ Madina’s Dream (SXSW, Sarasota, IFC Stranger Than Fiction, Telluride Mountainfilm), and Windy Borman’s Mary Janes (Woodstock, Mill Valley, Wild and Scenic). She is currently co-producing Raising Khan (Sundance Documentary Fund recipient, DOC NYC Pitch 2019).