Pacific Scoop

‘My Mother’ doco about Kiribati climate change wins global special award

The award-winning documentary Tinau by Victoria Burns.

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Pacific Media Watch

A special Connect4Climate prize has been awarded to Tinau – “My Mother”– from UK/Kiribati producer Victoria Burns, exploring the grave concerns of small island nations such her homeland Kiribati.

This was awarded in the 18-35  age category. According to the Vimeo web factfile about the 8min documentary:

Scientists predict that Kiribati – a remote Island Republic in the Central Pacific – could be lost to rising sea levels in the next 50 years. As a result a whole nation faces an uncertain future. Tinau is an intimate family portrait of a Kiribatese mother now settled in the UK and the ties that bind her to her former disappearing homeland.

pmw kiribati tinau doco 300

A still from the Kiribati doco Tinau. Image: Victoria Burns

Ten young film crews from 10 different countries were chosen as winners in the Action4Climate documentary competition. Their “outstanding and unique films inspire the world to take action on climate change”, said organisers.

“These talented young film makers connect to their audience in emotional and powerful ways about the dangers of climate change. They have done serious, important work, which shows that climate change could result in a world that is unrecognisable today, and that we need act now to protect the planet for future generations,” said Jim Yong Kim, President, World Bank Group

The Action4Climate competition was launched in early 2014 by Connect4Climate (, the global climate change communications programme. It attracted hundreds of entries from all around the world.

cpacific kiribati victoria burns

Young Kiribati film maker Victoria Burns.

Italian film director and screenwriter, Bernardo Bertolucci, chaired a renowned jury of film makers tasked with choosing winning films in two age categories.

Genuine concern
“We were amazed by the originality of the stories and the genuine concern shown by these young film makers about the effects of climate change. They described the effects of climate change from hundreds of different points of view. Selecting winners was an almost impossible task,” said Bertolucci.

In the 18 -35 age category, the $15,000 top prize went to the Portuguese film maker Gonçalo Tocha with his provocative film The Trail of a Tale made in collaboration with Imagine2020 and the New Economics Foundation. This inspiring story revolves around a letter written in the future to society today.

Dobrin Kashavelov from Bulgaria won second place and a cash prize of $10,000 with Global Warning, a harrowing film about the catastrophic effects on survivors of last year’s typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

Third place and a $5000 prize was awarded to American filmmaker Nathan Dappen for Snows of the Nile, a documentary following Nathan’s adventures uncovering indisputable evidence of the fast disappearing glaciers of Uganda’s “mountains of the moon”.

“I am immensely proud to be chosen as the winner and really hope my film helps people realize that we need to act now to protect our future,” said Gonçalo Tocha.

In the younger 14 -17 age group, The Violin Player took top spot. This beautifully animated film was the brainchild of Francina Ramos, a young Argentinian film maker and her co-producer/composer Benjamin Braceras.

Second place went to Facing the Flood by Constantin Huet from Switzerland, an investigative account of the changing conditions in Greenland and the Maldives.

Georgia’s Tura Tegerashivili was awarded third place for the whimsical It’s Easy if You Try.

All prize winners receive production equipment and software to help them hone their skills and talents and inspire them to create more climate change stories.

Read the full story

Source: Pacific Media Watch 9036


  1. Taruke Thomson, 1. November 2014, 7:56

    Aroha atu ki a koe e Victoria me to whanau, we have an old saying here in Aotearoa “Whatungarongaro te tangata, toitu te whenua” which refers to the brevity of life for a person as opposed to the permanance of land. It literally says “people disappear, but land remains forever”. Another saying was ” he kura tangata, e kore e rokohanga, he kura whenua ka rokohanga”. A treasured person can never be re-visited, a treasured land, always”. It is a tragedy unfolding for us all who inhabit the ocean of Kiwa.

  2. Kataua Ataniberu, 1. November 2014, 13:36

    Thanks aunty Victoria for the hard work you’ve shown the world in regards, to your mum’s country which is Kiibati.. God will take care of our beautiful islands…regards from your family in Invercargill, New Zealand.