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Dream to Cure Water, a film by National Geographic Explorer Ciril Jazbec, explores how communities in Peru’s Andes Mountains are negatively impacted by glacier melt as a result of climate change
At last week’s Jackson Wild Media Awards, Dream to Cure Water, a 20-minute short documentary film directed by National Geographic Explorer Ciril Jazbec, won for “Short Form – Climate Categories.” Jazbec’s project came to fruition after he received support from The Climate Pledge last year through the Society’s Global Storytellers Fund.
“As an advocate for the communities directly affected by globalization and the increasing impacts of climate change, I am deeply honored to be recognized for my film Dream to Cure Water,” said Jazbec. “I hope people walk away from this film learning something they didn’t know before, like the harmful effects that glacier melt has on the locals living in the Andes Mountains. It’s imperative that we work with local scientists and farmers to implement solutions that combat water contamination, and we need storytelling like this to shed light on the crisis.”
Jazbec’s Dream to Cure Water is part of his three-chapter multimedia project addressing global glacial melt. The film is set in Peru’s Andes Mountains, which is home to 70 percent of the world’s tropical glaciers that have receded by approximately 40 percent since the 1970s.
Dream to Cure Water spotlights the cultivation and intensive farming brought by this glacial meltwater as a result of climate change, and the negative impacts faced by local communities in Peru. In the Andes, due to glacier melt, rocks are exposed to the air for the first time in thousands of years. As a result, glacial meltwater now carries acid-heavy metal minerals into the rivers containing contaminants such as lead, arsenic, and cadmium. In some cases, the water is so contaminated it would poison humans and livestock if too much were consumed.
But there is hope. Scientists and farmers have identified native plants that can remove harmful heavy metals from the river and “cure” the water. By using a 700-year-old pre-Incan system for water storage and distribution, Indigenous knowledge is helping to solve modern problems. The film—part journey, part visual poetry—is a beautiful testament to the power of ancient wisdom and a community to heal themselves as climate change continues to alter the world as we know it.
Over 450 films entered the Jackson Wild Media Awards this year with over 1,100 category entries from 74 different countries around the world. Finalists were selected by more than 200 international judges who together screened over 1,000 hours of media. The awards are some of the most prestigious in the world of nature filmmaking, and were launched to celebrate excellence and innovation in nature, science, and conservation storytelling.
The Climate Pledge collaborates with National Geographic Society to support climate storytelling as part of the Society’s Global Storytellers Fund, which is dedicated to recruiting and funding a global community of photographers, writers, filmmakers, cartographers, and multimedia artists. To date, the partnership has supported the work of ten National Geographic Explorers across the globe. Learn more about Ciril Jazbec’s work at ciriljazbec.com.