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Documentary to Reveal ‘Gorillas Secrets’ in Rwanda

by Denyse Tuyishime
4:23 pm


The ‘Dian Fossey: Secrets in the Mist’ film is intended to reveal new insights into Dian Fossey’s life and work (photo: Gorillas in the mist)

Rwanda’s mountain gorillas will once again feature in a new documentary scheduled for official screening in October.

Titled ‘Dian Fossey: Secrets in the Mist’, the documentary will track down new insights of works of an American primatologist Dian Fossey – Before she was murdered in 1985, Fossey had extensively studied mountain gorilla groups in Rwanda for 18 years.

This morning, the National Geographic program and production manager Tim Pastore announced that the network will work in partnership with James Marsh, an Academy Award-winning executive producer and Tigress Productions, a UK production house.

The film is intended to reveal new insights into Fossey’s life and work through the archival footage, photos, letters, personnel correspondence and interviews with friends and colleagues to draw attention to her findings and observations.

“Dian Fossey was a influential figure of the 20th century, whose contribution to science and had a profound impact on our understanding of primates,” Pastore said, adding that by revealing how her groundbreaking findings came about and why they had such an impact on the world;

“We are paying tribute to her life’s work. This film will be her definitive life story and a testament to her trailblazing legacy,” Says Pastore.

Once in Rwanda, the film producers will access Fossey’s belongings and personal effects including objects from her cabin where she was killed and also explore how the investigation was conducted to find the murder.

According to National Geographic website, during Fossey’s work, the network had championed with her to produce a visual archive of her work with the mountain gorillas of Rwanda.

Dian Fossey: Secrets in the Mist will also see gorillas including Cantsbee, the oldest and most prolific father gorilla on the mountain whom Fossey named as newborn. According to Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, Cantsbee 38 suddenly reappeared on Jan. 4, after it had been missing for months and presumed dead.

“This has been a fantastic surprise for the new year. We are very happy to see Cantsbee back and alive in a better shape than before.

His return has left us with more questions than answers,” said Felix Ndagijimana, director of the Fossey Fund’s Karisoke Research Center and Rwanda program. So far, the production stage of the film has already started.

It is expected to be aired globally on National Geographic in over 150 countries and in 45 languages in October this year.

Rwanda is one of three countries in the world where rare mountain gorilla live. According to researchers, there are only 780 gorillas in the world and Rwanda possesses the third of it, which also makes the biggest part of the country’s tourism industry.

According to 2016 statistics, Rwanda hosts 304 mountain gorillas, however Kwita Izina –an annual gorilla naming ceremony indicates that every year the number of gorillas in the country increases by over 25 units. Since 2005, the country has named over 280.