Our Creative Team is in the thick of post production!! The Farmer’s Tale, our new environment film for Madagascar, is coming together first, ready to be dubbed next month into Malagasy. Some lovely preview stills below from the first early cut, and meet some of our puppet team here at the shoot.
Look carefully at this tree and you’ll see that its twigs bend to form eyes. It has a mouth, too, behind its lichen-like beard, and it speaks. It’s an ancient tree with all the wisdom of the forest that surrounds it: the forest of Madagascar, ‘as old as time and as new as a fresh young bud,’ that is threatened by man’s need to exert continuous pressure upon the land.
Tree begins: “I have lived here for a very long time and know many stories. The story I’m about to tell you is both old and new. Of course, it is a story and therefore not real. But many of the things in it are absolutely true.”
Simon and his wife have a baby on the way, but their plot of land is dead. Soil from the surrounding treeless hillsides has also washed away. Simon can do only one thing: wander far from home and cultivate some of the remaining forest so he can meet his family’s needs.
He enters the forest with his machete. But each time he attempts to chop down a tree he is spoken to … First by a lemur, then a tree, then a red bird. One by one they plead with him to spare their home.
The tree and animals tell Simon they will help him in the future if he spares them, but Simon is more than sceptical. Finally, the lemur persuades him to enter a forest clearing, where Simon spots a beautiful, lush garden full of trees and vegetables, with a terraced rice plot to one side. To his further amazement, a very old man is tending the garden. There is something about him Simon can’t quite put his finger on…
When Simon questions him, the old man simply chuckles wisely. Simon marvels at the rich compost the old farmer has made and the clever planting designs.
The bird who spoke to him previously settles on the face and drops a seed into the garden.
Simon watches as a miracle unfolds: a plant grows up from the ground where the seed fell, and oranges form in front of his very eyes.
When the old farmer’s wife appears, Simon recognises the clothes she is wearing. She and the old man are more than familiar – they are himself and his wife in the future! And those are their healthy children. The vision disappears, and Simon resolves to work with nature to make such a future reality.