Maldives Promotion House – Jon Shenk’s ‘The Island President’, revolving around President Mohamed Nasheed’s campaign to fight global warming, has been selected as the Best Documentary at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). Both President Nasheed and Shenk were present at Canada’s largest metropolis, to present the film, seeing an opportunity to bring much-needed attention to the plight of Maldives.
The film shows surprisingly candid access to the head of state, and Shenk assures that he was not required to submit the footage for approval. Apart from some scenes of self-doubt, the documentary paints a heroic portrait of the Maldivian leader. Throughout the film Shenk accompanies President Nasheed in his journey to meet the most powerful leaders of the world.
The film is an AfterImage Public Media presentation of Actual Films, AfterImage Public Media, and Independent Television Service (ITVS) production in association with Ford Foundation and Impact Films with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
‘The Island President’ was produced by Bonni Cohen and Richard Berge, with Spencer Adler as Co-producer, Jon Else as Executive producer and Dan Cogan was the Co-executive producer.
With English and Dhivehi dialogues, the documentary shows President Mohamed Nasheed, First Lady Laila Ali, Aminath Shauna, Mohamed Aslam, Mark Lynas, Ahmed Naseem, Paul Roberts, Ahmed Shaheed, Former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, Gary Streeter, Tillman Thomas, and Shyam Saran.
The Toronto film festival is the biggest in North America and has traditionally been a key event for Oscar-conscious studios and distributors because it is attended by a sizable contingent of North American media.