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Festival internazionale Segni della Notte - Urbino
International Festival Signs of the Night - Urbino

8° Festival internazionale Segni della Notte - Urbino - Aprile 10-14, 2024

22th International Festival Signs of the Night - Italy


Shepherds of the Earth

by Iiris Härmä
Finland / 2022 / 01:14:30

Wednesday April 10 , 2024 1, 202


This is a story about us – Homo Sapiens. Where do we come from and where are we heading to? The story of the film takes place in Turkana, Kenya. This unique place is also known as the Cradle of Humankind where the discoveries of prehistorical human origins are made. The area is nowadays inhabited by the indigenous pastoral tribe called Daasanach. Our main character Álvaro Fernández-Llamazares, Spanish ethno ecologist arrive to Turkana to study the relationship between humans and nature. He becomes friends with a tribe member Job Nasak, who guides him into the daily life of the village. Alvaro gets impressed by traditional fables and animal stories of the tribe and he is asked to collect them for the first ever Daasanach language story book. The stories paint a picture of vivid nature and a rich wildlife. But while exploring the natural park Alvaro discovers dry and bare landscape with hardly any animals left. So starts a fascinating story from the Cradle of Humankind, a story of the nomadic people’s struggle to survive, of poaching, nature reserve rangers, tribal wars over scarce resources and prehistoric fossils. The two worlds of biologists and the tribe members collide revealing the values of wildlife and nature for both.




Director Biography

M.A. Iiris Härmä is a documentary film director renowned for her artistically high-quality films that depict their characters in a gentle and humanistic way. She has produced and directed several award-winning short and feature-length documentaries that have acclaimed international reputation at various film festivals around the world. She has a degree in cultural management and a degree in cultural studies (ethnology).

Her previous work WHO MADE YOU? (2019) is a film about artificial intelligence and ethics. The film asks what the development of AI means for humanity, community and how it will affect our perception of a human. The film was broadcasted by many international TV-channels (NHK, SVT UR, YLE etc.) and won several festival awards like the Best Documentary Film Award in Raindance (UK) and KI-Science Film Festival (Germany).

Selected Filmography:

WHO MADE YOU? (2019)
LOOK AT ME (2010)




Director Statement

My guideline of the film is: The Cradle of Humankind now. The film shows us the biggest threats for the earth: climate change and animal extinction, and challenges us to see our part in it. I feel compassion for people whose contribution to the climate change has been minimal, but who are most at risk of its devastating effects and have least resources to withstand and adapt to it. The film’s message is great love for the nature and also fear of its loss. But it also holds a message of hope that stems from the power of making the change. The film defends the beauty of our world and its biodiversity and cultural diversity. .