ABOUT THE FILM
The Volcano’s Last Wish is sponsored by From the Heart Productions, Inc., a 501 (c) non-profit organization. Their employment identification number (EIN) is available upon request.
The current already shot in Fogo is stunning, and the story is heartfelt and inspirational. “The viewer identifies with the boy, as he discovers the beauties and challenges of the community, while wandering=upon the “secret” vineyards atop blackened terrain. The film also shows traditional winemaking ceremonies, which are enveloped in bursts of color. This film is essential because the village, Cha das Caldeiras, is a historical treasure that should be documented to preserve its rich but fragile culture. It faces the risk of destruction at any moment. I am particularly sensitive to “lost cultures,” says filmmaker, Guenny K. Pires.
Txan Film Productions & Visual Arts just completed its principal photography on an inspiring film about the culture and legacy of the people of Cha das Caldeiras, and the village hit hardest by the 2014 volcanic eruption. When Fogo Volcano erupted, its lava scorched the only school, the local health center, and the town’s main livelihood - its grape vineyards. More importantly, it burned away a century of unique culture and history. We are looking for sponsorship to complete the post-production of The Volcano’s Last Wish, which was shot entirely Cha das Caldeiras, Fogo, Cape Verde Islands, West Africa.
The Volcano’s Last Wish is a 25-minute feature film that tells the story of a 104-year-old respected elder and local leader of the village who has decided to pass the legacy of his village’s existence to his 9-year-old grandson. The village’s leader does this by giving his grandson an 8-millimeter camera so that he can document and communicate the culture, passions, lives, and memories of his people before the volcano erases them from history.
A young black boy raised in a remote African village is entrusted by his great-grandfather with the mission of becoming the first visual storyteller for his homeland, the island of Fogo off the West Coast of Africa.
The Volcano’s Last Wish, like most stories, is part fact, part fiction. It is part of cultural history and part cultural fable. Ultimately, it is a home-rooted story from the heart about storytelling itself.
Grounded firmly in the writer’s home country of Cape Verde, West Africa, the narrative centers on the relationship between its two main protagonists - Mr. Musa-Maximiano, one hundred and five-years-old and his village’s spiritual leader, and his nine-year-old grandson, Michel. Mr. Musa had long ago taken up the mantle of being the storytelling guardian of his village’s history and culture, and now, on the eve of a momentous birthday celebration, accepting that his end is near, he wishes to pass on this critical responsibility to an unsuspecting, yet earnestly open, Michel.
The Volcano’s Last Wish is a story of both humility and pride. Humility in the face of the awesome forces of nature, and yet pride in one’s connection to such indomitable spirits. Indeed, our connection to the land we tread on all the days of our lives can become as deep as any relationship we have with another human being. It is in this way that the volcano that both anchors and supports Mr. Musa’s village takes on the kind of personification and identification we find natural wonders supporting in many indigenous cultures throughout time around this Earth.
The Volcano’s Last Wish is a celebration of life in all its forms – past, present, and future. It is the lifting of a glass to make a toast. It is the warm handshake of a friend and the embrace of family. It is a loving tribute to the mythology of a place and people in time and of the uniqueness and power of each of our individual and collective surroundings in the natural world. It is the universal joy in a story worth telling.
Our goal is for this film to reach out to Cape Verdeans and abroad audience. This film would not only appeal to the Africans, particularly to the Portuguese speaking countries and people of the village, but to an audience of all different ages, ethnicities, cultures, and social classes. We’re negotiating with producers in Africa, Australia, Europe, New Zealand, North, and South America to submit it for the global audience, theatrical, and educational distribution.
The Volcano’s Last Wish will be entered into every major film festival, including the Sundance Film Festival, the Pan African Film & Arts Festival, the Fespaco, the San Francisco International Film Festival, the Pasadena International Film Festival, the Los Angeles Film Festival, the Toronto International Film Festival, the Berlin International Film Festival, the Sydney Film Festival and the Cannes Film Festival among over thirty others worldwide.
We want people to experience and learn about the filmmaker’s village’s story and to feel proud of themselves for being well informed about a relatively unknown African village. One of the things “I feel most strongly about is that The Volcano’s Last Wish must have its own visual language, both tonally and structurally. It must be a film that can be seen in all kinds of venues because The Volcano’s Last Wish is not just the story of a single village; it is about the larger story of the volcano and its people.” Says filmmaker Guenny K. Pires.
WHY THIS FILM
“The national government wants to relocate the population of my village to another part of the island then sell our land to a large corporation, which will privatize the village’s natural surroundings. As such, this film is a unique opportunity to keep alive the village’s memories, legacy, and natural way of living near an active volcano.
My goal is to produce a motion picture that will entertain, educate, surprise, and refresh the spirit. It will also show how the people of my village are connected to the volcano and how they are now fighting to preserve their identity against the encroachments of the government and the corporate economy.
As one of the first filmmakers from Cape Verde, it’s my responsibility to tell my own story, give voice to those who do not have access to mass media, and share their stories with the rest of the world. I wanted to make an original film and push myself to learn a visual language and techniques that can make my story stand apart from others.
I will convey an immense amount of experience, expertise, and professionalism into the production of this film. Ultimately, The Volcano’s Last Wish will touch the soul, break new ground, educate, and entertain.” Guenny K. Pires