Season of fire and smoke

SEASON of FIRE and SMOKE
A Documentary by Maziar Yousefi
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Project Information

About the project
LOCKLINEAn environmental documentary that explores the burning of farms after the harvest season.


When harvest is completed, the straws (in this case rice straws) could be used in different ways including livestock fodder, bedding, crafts, paper, biofuels and many more.

But a lot of farmers burn the straws after the harvest season every year.

 

At  first glance it might not seem illogical of farmers to burn the leftover product, but imagine hundreds of thousands of acre being on fire in a short period of time: it easily becomes an ecological hazard/crisis.

 

Unfortunately, this phenomenon is not limited to a specific region on earth and on the contrary, it is a common practice in Asia, Middle East, Africa, and even around Americas and Australia, and farmers all over these regions tend to pollute the atmosphere doing it.

 

 

Amount of emitted Nitrogen Oxide (NOx), Sulfur Oxide (SOx) and Carbon Monoxide (Co) from a 2.5 acre  farm overnight equals to pollution of an industrial factory during a year!

 

According to the statistics, in a area with population of 700.000, between 2000 and 3000 individuals per night seek help from healthcare centers due to respiratory allergies and heart conditions.

But the farmers have their own reasons too, if it starts to rain soon after the harvest, the straws go bad and they have to get rid of them.

They are also an easy target for pests (specially Asiatic rice borer) if they remain on the ground, which makes the farm inarable.

And they believe burning the straws helps to fertilize the soil.

 

So in the 40 minutes of this documentary we will try to see the problems from both sides (Farmers and Officials) and try to find a solution too.

 

Purpose

Air pollution has become the world's single biggest environmental health risk, linked to around 7 million – or nearly one in eight deaths in 2012 – according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

While in the past it was mostly considered as a metropolitan and industrial phenomenon, the more recent view is to count it as a transboundary problem and trying to find its origins and also a solution for it is a global concern.

 

WHY 

The events of the film happen in a very short period of time towards the end of the rice harvest season (September and October) + according to illegal nature of it, farmers try to avoid officials by burning the farms when least expected. These two factors make filming very time sensitive, and demand various mobile filming crews to catch the moments.

Up to this point this film has been entirely self financed, even though over 80% of it has already been recorded.

The future funds will be spent on the rest of the filming, and post production (editing, narration, etc...)

Quote that inspired the maker

I am a northerner from Iran, and I believe in order to preserve the nature we should start with our own home.
Maziar Yousefi