The Matriarch

Holly Welles ・ High Meadows Environmental Institute

The Matriarch from Su Friedrich on Vimeo.

In the summer of 2014, 15 Princeton undergraduates had the unique opportunity to participate in a Princeton Institute for International Affairs (PIIRS) Global Seminar “Documentary Filmmaking in Kenya: The Art of Science Storytelling,” held at Mpala Research Centre in Laikipia, Kenya.  Together, with five Kenyan students, they were trained in digital video production, screenwriting, and editing. This collaborative effort was co-sponsored by the Princeton Atelier, the Princeton Environmental Institute, and the Lewis Center’s Program in Visual Arts culminating in the production of five films that capture environmental themes featuring the work of Princeton faculty and students.  “The Matriarch” is one of the five films produced.  More information about this this global seminar can be found in the recent article  ”Into the wild: Global Seminar takes budding filmmakers to Kenya’s plains.”

The Matriarch

“The Matriarch” follows the life of Jada, an elephant and the matriarch of her family who has survived a brutal poaching attack. Jada’s story is interwoven with a riveting science story about the research being done at Mpala which allow us to see just how important elephants are for the environment and what is at risk if they no longer exist in the wild.

Produced, directed and edited by Sarah Jeong, Loise Njagi, Brady Valashinas and Réka Zempléni

The other four films include:  Curse of the Gazelle KingNature’s NurturersRealignments; and The Lost Boys of Laikipia.