First English Iranian Economic Daily
April 18, 2017
The short environmental documentary film ‘Once Hamoun,’ directed by filmmaker Mohammad Ehsani, 44, will be screened at the 6th Greenpoint Film Festival in New York.
The festival is slated for May 4-7 and the 35-minute film on the endangered marshlands of Hamoun, will be shown on the final day of the event, ISNA reported.
Ehsani is a member of the Iranian Documentary Filmmakers Association and environmental issues are among his top priorities. For his latest documentary, he traveled to southeastern Iran where the Hamoun-e-Helmand straddles a large border region in Iran and Afghanistan.
A shallow, marshy, lake (or lagoon) it is located in the Sistan region of eastern Iran and western Afghanistan and fed by the Helmand River, which starts in the Hindu Kush mountains in Afghanistan. The wetland is part of the seasonal desert lakes and marshlands on the Iranian Plateau and spreads over 50,700 sq km.
The shallow lakes and wetlands of Hamoun form a critical link in the wildlife of the area, aquatic as well as avian and terrestrial.
The documentary depicts the present situation of Hamoun and the challenges people living in the region face.
Since the desiccation of Lake Hamoun due to the construction of dams and reservoirs on both sides of the border, numerous environmental and social problems have emerged in Sistan region. Poverty, migration, and the decline of traditional and local jobs have been some of the problems, although under a three-phase plan by the Department of Environment to save the wetlands, millions of cubic meters of water are being released into the lagoon.
Two other environmental documentaries are to be screened at the 2017 Greenpoint event. Both are by American directors. One is ‘Madagascar’s Scar’ by Camille Wainer and the other ‘Save Our Snowmen’ by Cool Effect.
Ehsani has portrayed several environmental crises of the time in his previous films.
His documentary ‘Lady Urmia’ is well known in Iran and elsewhere. The 30-minute film was made in 2012. It is a poetic documentary about Lake Urmia in northwestern Iran. Located between the provinces of East Azarbaijan and West Azarbaijan, Lake Urmia is the largest lake in the Middle East and the third largest saltwater lake on earth. The documentary is narrated in the voice of the lake itself that demands help and international aid to save it from drying up.