Botswana film Okavango to screen at Sundance

A still from Okavango: River of Dreams (Director’s Cut) by Dereck Joubert and Beverly Joubert, an official selection of the Documentary Premieres program at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Beverly Joubert. All photos are copyrighted and may be used by press only for the purpose of news or editorial coverage of Sundance Institute programs. Photos must be accompanied by a credit to the photographer and/or 'Courtesy of Sundance Institute.' Unauthorized use, alteration, reproduction or sale of logos and/or photos is strictly prohibited.

Documentary Okavango: River of Dreams by Botswana-based wildlife filmmakers Dereck and Beverly Joubert, has been selected to screen in the Documentary Premieres programme at the Sundance Film festival – set to take place from 23 January to 2 February 2020. Okavango is the first film from Botswana selected to screen at the prestigious festival.

Dereck and Beverly Joubert are National Geographic explorers, filmmakers and founders of the Great Plains Foundation, a wildlife conservation organisation operating in Botswana, Kenya and Zimbabwe.

The documentary received rave reviews from the Sundance community and the board. “In over 35 years of filmmaking, this is our first to be accepted into Sundance, a huge milestone for us in our careers,” comment Dereck and Beverly.

Okavango; River of Dreams – based on the Okavango River in Botswana – is an exploration into finding the soul of the Okavango River. It investigates the different aspects of the river and how it affects wildlife and the ecosystems that surround it, but most of all it is a celebration of this unique and pristine wonder if the world.

“The Okavango is a special place, the diversity of life that interacts and survives by virtue of this river is spectacular. It is a depiction of the circle of life in its truest sense and it has been such an honour to be able to spend time understanding and interacting with nature in its raw, rugged and beautifully bare form,” said Dereck. “But as a symbol of the everything that is right, and precious about nature, the film is also a dire warning that if we get this wrong and destroy this jewel, we lose much more than just one more landscape, we lose a part of ourselves.”

The iconic festival which runs annually in the United States and will take place in Park City, Utah. Sundance, started by Robert Redford, is widely regarded as one of the most prestigious independent film festivals in the world. It draws record-high numbers of over 15 000 submissions a year and the final 118 feature-length films that made the cut this year represent 27 countries, but Okavango is the only natural history biopic selected.

“This is an exhibition of the most pristine places on our precious planet, and its beautiful creatures, and how it impacts lives and nature. We hope that it will inspire people to protect the planet and preserve its nature for generations to come,” Beverly said.  

The Sundance screenings of Okavango: River of Dreams (Director’s Cut) are as follows:

– Sunday, 26 January, 6:00 p.m. – 7:39 p.m.
Sundance Mountain Resort Screening Room, Sundance Resort
– Tuesday, 28 January, 5:30 p.m. – 7:09 p.m.
Prospector Square Theatre, Park City
– Wednesday, 29 January, 8:30 a.m. – 10:09a.m.
Egyptian Theatre, Park City