Anote’s Ark


The low­lying Pacific nation of Kiribati faces a daunting challenge: imminent annihilation from sea-level rise. As Anote Tong, Kiribati’s President, races to find a way to protect his nation’s people and maintain their dignity, many i­Kiribati are already seeking safe harbor overseas. Set against the backdrop of international climate negotiations and the fight to recognize climate displacement as an urgent human rights issue, Anote’s personal struggle to save his nation is intertwined with the extraordinary fate of Sermary, a young mother of six, who decides to migrate her family to New Zealand. At stake are the survival of Sermary’s family, the ­Kiribati people, and 4,000 years of ­Kiribati culture; yet the story also serves as a cautionary tale for low­lying populations everywhere.

Awards :

  • Best Documentary feature - FICMEC
  • Best Feature Award - San Francisco Green Film Festival 2018
  • Best Feature Award - Philadelphia Environmental Film Festival
  • Special Mention in the International Documentary competition section - Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival
  • Sustainability Award (Sponsored by City of Denton Sustainability) - Thin Line, Texas
  • Prix ACIC-ONF du Meilleur long métrage documentaire canadien – Les Percéides
  • Baikal special prize for the urgency of the problem - Baikal Int Film Festival “People and Environment”
  • Aquablier d’Argent - MaPlanet(e) Festival 2018
  • Environmental Anthropology Award – Liberty Seguro – CineEco 24th Serra da Estrela International Environmental Film Festival
  • Special diploma from the organizational commitee - World of knowledge St-Petersbourg
  • Honourable mention - HUMAN International Documentary Film Festival Oslo
  • 3nd place, Jury Award for Best Feature Documentary - Anchorage International Film Festival 2018.

Director's statement

As it is often said, Kiribati are the canaries on the front line: what happens to them will be the fate of rest that would follow. Kiribati has one of the smallest GDP and footprints on the planet, yet they are the silent victims of a phenomenon that is not provoked by them. It is a climate justice case and should be addressed by the nations that are creating this problem. What we are now witnessing in Kiribati is a new phenomenon that goes way beyond national boundaries and that should be addressed urgently. We are all part of the solution in a way; in its globalized system we are now all connected and responsible to the fate of this small island nation. If we don’t deeply change our behaviours, humanity is at the at brink of being ripped off the surface of the earth. The story of Kiribati is not a far off singular story. It’s a big deal for all human beings. What happens to them will eventually be the destiny of the rest who will follow. Above all, I want this film to give a voice to the people of Kiribati and to their incredible president, because I am certain that they will be able to give us a lesson in humility that will lead each of us to reason.

Why we selected this film

This poignant film shows us the reality and everyday life of the first climate refugee who powerlessly witness the destruction of their homes. We follow a touching family who is forced to leave everything behind and the fight of a man committed to a cause: the President of the Kiribati Islands who is fighting heart and soul for the future of his people. A beautiful film.