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3 Filmmakers on the Stories Behind their Instagram Takeovers

In the last couple months, Storyhunter filmmakers, videographers, and journalists have been taking over our Instagram profile. From India…
3 Filmmakers on the Stories Behind their Instagram Takeovers

In the last couple months, Storyhunter filmmakers, videographers, and journalists have been taking over our Instagram profile. From India to Norway to the Philippines, their takeovers have focused on ocean conservation, humanitarian crises, camel decorating, and more. Here are three of the backstories behind their adventures:

1. Steve De Neef swims with the sharks and inspires ocean conservation efforts.

Steve De Neef is an underwater photographer and video journalist who specializes in covering nature environmental conservation, and culture. He works with scientists, NGOs, coastal communities, and media outlets to inspire positive change and show conservation efforts to a broader audience. Steve took over our Instagram page with images of his powerful underwater and aerial landscapes. This is his story:

The images here are part of a long term project that is still ongoing. Over the years I’ve been documenting both the beauty and destruction of our oceans and am trying to see how both affect coastal communities. On one hand, you have a community that greatly profits from the seas bounties like the whale shark tourism in Oslob, Philippines. And on the other hand, you can have a community who has lost nearly all their ocean resources and is struggling to survive, as was the case for many communities living along islands in the Philippines affected by Typhoon Haiyan in 2013. I feel it’s important to show people are connected to the health of the ocean — when life struggles, so will the people who depend on it. When marine life thrives, so can the people living around it, whether that is through sustainable fishing or tourism. The ocean provides more than 50% of the oxygen on our planet, we all need it to survive.— Steve De Neef on his Storyhunter Takeover

2. The Weinert Brothers film a documentary about human trafficking.

Dennis and Patrick Weinert are documentary photographers and filmmakers based in Germany. Their work has taken them across Africa, South and Southeast Asia, the Americas and Europe, as they depict conflict, humanitarian crises, and cultural issues. In 2016, the brothers began producing a self-funded experimental documentary in the Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, which explores how local youth cope with the political instability and raging conflict in the region:

Our latest project deals with transborder human trafficking between India and Nepal. The first time that we actually became aware of this issue was during our first trip to Kathmandu and some mountain villages in May 2014. At that time, we were working on our debut photo book about poverty in the context of globalization and that gave us the opportunity to talk to some young women who were trafficked to Kathmandu and subsequently exploited in the city’s underground brothels and dance bars.
Since then, we have returned to the region multiple times and things really took up speed when we got the chance to work as show host and camera operators on a documentary feature about human trafficking in South Asia for German public TV channel WDR. However, after finishing the shoot, we had the feeling that there was still so much more to tell and to explore about this topic — so we decided to go back once again and write a book about it. — The Weinert Brothers on their Storyhunter Takeover.
This is one of their recent stories commissioned through the Storyhunter platform for Seeker Stories.

3. On the Road Media goes to the Pushkar Camel Fair in India.

Maho Irigoyen and David von Blohn of On the Road Media are nomadic videographers and documentary filmmakers originally from Argentina and Germany. Recently, they took their first trip to India, where they covered a story on the annual Pushkar Camel fair.

Our story was shot during the Pushkar Camel Fair, an annual gathering in which raikas (camel breeders) trade thousands of camels. Raikas come from different villages in Rajasthan, India, and set up camp in the desert near the town of Pushkar, where they live for a couple of weeks. Their lives are hard but they keep their spirits up with the help of the community….Ashok Tak, the main character in our short documentary, has been decorating camels and advocating for their welfare for the past two decades….Here’s Maho shooting with Ashok in the desert, with the help of our new gimbal, a tool that has truly opened up a world of possibilities for us. Producing stories in India was a big challenge for us, since we don’t speak any of the local languages and found the cultural differences so puzzling sometimes. — Maho and David on the Storyhunter Instagram.

By D. Simone Kovacs and Jindalae Suh, Writers at Storyhunter