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The Burning Season

International Premiere

Australia | 90 MINUTES | English, Indonesian |


Female Director(s), Documentary
Cathy Henkel (The Man Who Stole My Mother's Face, TFF '04) returns with another engaging and provocative film. Whereas her previous film was more of a personal crusade, The Burning Season is an inspirational and uplifting eye-opener that follows the incredible crusades of others.

Every year, poor farmers on the Indonesian islands set fire to areas of pristine rainforest to set up palm oil plantations. The smoke chokes up the air of neighboring countries, endangers forest wildlife, and emits vast tons of carbon (Indonesia is now the third largest carbon emitter behind the United States and China). Henkel bridges three stories affected by these fires. Dorjee Sun, an Australian entrepreneur, believes there's money to be made from saving rainforests in Indonesia and sets out to find investors for his carbon-trading plan. Meanwhile, a Danish expat cares for displaced orangutans. And on the other end, a small-scale farmer wrestles with the dilemma of contributing to climate change and needing to feed his family.

Realizing that the overarching situation is quite complex, Henkel uses animated sequences and narration by Hugh Jackman to creatively illustrate points. She has successfully made an environmental film that doesn't just point out the problems, but shows that change is possible.


Directed by Cathy Henkel

Cathy Henkel, director of Virgo Productions, has worked as a writer, producer, and director of documentaries since 1988. Her television documentary debut was Heroes of Our Time, the first inside look at Greenpeace during one of its dramatic "direct action" campaigns. Cathy's television credits include Walking Through a Minefield, Losing Layla, Spike Milligan: I Told You I Was Ill, and The Man Who Stole My Mother's Face, which was named best documentary at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2004.
Cathy Henkel, Jeff Canin, Trish Lake
Handi IIfat, Jeff Canin
Director of Photography
Leonard Retel Helmich, Ismali Fahmi Lubis
Cathy Henkel
Harriet Clutterbuck, Cathy Henkel, Jane St Vincent Welch
Primary Cast
Dorjee Sun, Lone Droscher-Nielsen, Achmadi
Nicolette Boaz


Sales Contact
Cathy Henkel
Virgo Productions
Level 2, Judith Wright Centre, 420 Brunswick Street Brisbane, Queensland 4006
Phone: +61 7 3252 4551
Print Source
Tara Wardrop
Virgo Productions
Level 2, Judith Wright Centre, 420 Brunswick Street Brisbane, Queensland 4006
Phone: +61 7 3252 4551