by Anjali Nayar & Hawa Essuman
The Liberian environmental activist Silas Siakor puts his heart and soul into fighting for community rights and exposing corruption. Growing up during the rule of convicted war criminal Charles Taylor, Siakor saw valuable raw materials leave his country as weapons entered. In 2005, this inspired him to support the democratically-elected president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who promised change. When this change fails to come, Siakor and his colleagues at his Sustainable Development Institute use an encrypted mobile phone app to show the international community how human rights in Liberia continue to be widely violated. Meanwhile, companies that are destroying the environment still have the upper hand. Siakor's passionate fight also has a flip side, as both his family life and his health are beginning to suffer. Over the course of five years, we follow Siakor on a thrilling investigation that inspires a generation of young activists to raise their smartphones and demand change.
Canada, South Africa, Kenya
English, Liberian English
Director: Anjali Nayar, Hawa Essuman
Producer: Anjali Nayar - Ink & Pepper Productions, Steven Markovitz - Big World Cinema
Executive Producer: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Davisson Killoran, Edward Zwick, Jonathan Stack
Cinematography: Anjali Nayar, Joan Poggio
Editing: Roderick Deogrades, Andrew MacCormack
Sound: Hawa Essuman, Anjali Nayar, Eio Cassell, Joan Kabugu
Music: Brendan Canning, Ohad Benchetrit
In Association with Gabriel Films
Supported by: JustFilms Ford Foundation, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Sundance Institute, Open Society Foundations, Kendeda Fund, Stories of Change, IDFA Bertha Fund, Hot Docs Blue Ice Group Documentary Fund, PUMA.Creative Catalyst Award in Partnership with Channel 4 BRITDOC Foundation, Alter-Ciné Foundation
DIRECTOR - ANJALI NAYAR
Anjali has been working with the environmental networks featured in this project for over six years. Anjali has a Masters in Environmental Management from Oxford University, a Masters in Remote Sensing for the environment and a Masters in Documentary Journalism from Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism.
Anjali’s has been working in multi-platform media (transmedia) since 2006. Her documentary feature film, Gun Runners, premiered at Hot Docs in 2016.
DIRECTOR - HAWA ESSUMAN
Director Hawa worked on TV commercials and documentaries before directing the Kenyan TV drama series Makutano Junction. Soul Boy (2010), Hawa’s most recent feature film, has screened at over 40 film festivals around the world and received five nominations at the 2011 African Academy Awards.
TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2017〡DOC NYC 2017〡IDFA 2017〡HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH FILM FESTIVAL 2018〡CPH:DOX 2018〡SEATTLE FILM FESTIVAL 2018〡ATLANTA FILM FESTIVAL 2018〡DOK FEST MUNICH 2018〡MILLENNIUM DOCS AGAINST GRAVITY 2018
"A heroic portrait of Siakor that keep the issues front and centre... Silas is an accessible character study and eye-opening glimpse at Liberian affairs."
- POV Magazine