Pantanal: A Charred Wetland


Located in the heart of Brazil, the Pantanal is the world's largest tropical wetland, packed with the most remarkable wildlife. The annual floods in this biome are essential to maintain a huge diversity of unique species. However, due to human actions, the floods are now becoming smaller and rivers are drying out, which is causing severe droughts. The consequences of this became evident in 2020, when huge wildfires destroyed over a quarter of this biome, killing millions of animals along the way. Two brave locals – Eduarda and Jorge – decided to give their all to rescue and save the lives of severely injured animals along the way.

About the Film

Growing up in the heart of Brazil, I'd always dreamt about visiting the Pantanal - a wetland ecosystem that was close to my hometown and an absolute wildlife paradise. The Pantanal also has the largest number of jaguars per area in the world, which made it even more exciting.

In September of 2020, I saw the devastating news that huge wildfires, like never before seen, started to take over this precious biome, killing thousands of animals. The photos of the Pantanal in flames and the vegetation destroyed were heartbreaking, and I knew I had to do something to help. 

As I started studying wildlife filmmaking, I knew this was the first story I had to tell. I wanted to make people outside of Brazil aware of what was happening in my country, as I hadn’t heard the international media speak up about it. I was determined to make a film that would hopefully raise awareness about this important ecosystem.

I started to plan my film in March of 2021, beginning with research and story development. I knew that a group of volunteers had helped with animal rescues during the fires, and, researching the people involved, I found Eduarda Fernandes and Jorge Salomão. I immediately knew I wanted to tell their story. Eduarda is an ecotourism guide who works and lives in the Pantanal, and Jorge is a wildlife vet who works for the non-profit organisation AMPARA Silvestre. I contacted them to ask a few questions about the work they had done and, once they agreed to be a part of it, I started to write a rough script and storyboard. 

I went to Brazil in July of the same year to get all the footage I needed. Filming was very fun, but also a lot of work. I only had two weeks to film everything, which meant waking up at 4-5am every day for sunrise and going to sleep very late after trying to film nocturnal behaviours or taking star-lapses. I had two days to interview my contributors, and the rest was all dedicated to wildlife and nature. 

The post production process was the most time-consuming of all. It involved long days transcribing hours of interviews and translating everything between languages. I also had hours of wildlife footage to sift through and find the best shots. Colour grading, music and sound design were the last few things to get done before I could consider the film officially finished. 

Doing all the steps of production by myself – development, research, directing, filming, and editing – was a huge learning experience for me. All the challenges I faced resulted in so much personal and professional growth, and I was very happy with the outcome of it all! 

In January of 2022, I screened my film for the very first time at a venue in London. Friends and guests came to support and it was very rewarding to see my film for the very first time on a big screen. 

My Film - Pantanal: A Charred Wetland


Since releasing my film, I have received such incredible response and feedback. My film has also been well accepted by film festivals around the world, with 24 official selections and 9 awards so far!

Best Documentary - Bucharest ShortCut Cinefest

Best Environmentally Conscious Documentary - Golden Nugget International Film Festival

Best Documentary - Flow Film Festival

Best Director of Documentary - BIMIFF

Best Documentary - Denali Film Festival

Best Documentary - Golden Eagle film festival

Most Just Cause - Fauna Tepoztlan Animal Festival

Social Awareness Award and Best Director - T.I.F.A.

Finalist - Independent Film Awards London

Finalist - Vaasa Wildlife Festival