Ananya Pathak

The Marquesans, Sadhus, Q'eros and other indigenous tribes...

Wunderman Thompson stitches them all together in a seven-minute-long film, with lyrics from ancient tribal sayings and forgotten folk songs.

On the occasion of United Nations' World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development yesterday (May 21), Wunderman Thompson India released a short film ‘#SOS Save Our Sentinels – The Blink Film’. Created for The Jimmy Nelson Foundation, the seven-minute-long film is a visual commentary on the cultural identity of 36 indigenous tribes across the globe.

The film was stitched together from thousands of original documented photographs (taken) over the last 20 years by photographer Jimmy Nelson and his team.

It celebrates the last few of these tribes for 'standing still', despite the threat to their cultural identity and forest lands.

Speaking about the film, Senthil Kumar, chief creative officer, Wunderman Thompson India, in a press release, said, “It took me and my team over seven months to put this seven-minute iconographic narrative together from thousands of rare images of the last 36 indigenous tribes and archival footage of their endangered habitats, documented over the last 20 years.” Kumar's team included researchers, editors, music directors and sound engineers.

“'#SOS Save Our Sentinels' is an iconography of the last indigenous tribes to put them in the spotlight and celebrate their cultural identity. A powerful photographic documentary and cultural commentary on the last sentinels of our natural reserves. It was an honour to capture the life’s work of legendary photographer Jimmy Nelson through this life-changing film,” added Kumar.

The soundtrack is a multilingual musical expression, with lyrics from ancient tribal sayings and forgotten folk songs recorded on location from almost all the indigenous tribes featured in the film. The musical narrative includes indigenous influences from Africa, Siberia, India, South America and the Aboriginals of Australia. Grammy Award winner Richard Bona is one of the singers. Then there are traditional gypsy tribal singers from Duala (in Cameroon), Siberia and India.