Wildfire Wins The Whickers’ 2023 DFM Bursary

We are delighted to announce the winner of our bursary in partnership with Durban FilmMart Institute (DFM), now in its second year. Zahra Moloo, the director of Wildfire, was announced as the winner of the £3,000 bursary at DFM’s Awards Ceremony on Monday 24th July 2023.

Wildfire Synopsis: In the lush forests of the Congo Basin, a battle is taking place between a world-famous conservation organization and a community of indigenous hunter-gatherers. Leading the fight are two passionate activists. They are gathering evidence of years of human rights abuses by rangers allegedly funded by the international organization, and working tirelessly to get the government to recognize the rights of indigenous people and their stewardship of the land.

This film asks who is conservation really for? And can we find a better way to conserve the last remaining forests on Earth? As governments around the world agree to a new UN agreement to protect 30 per cent of the earth’s land by 2030, more land is being set aside for national parks. Will these two men and their communities of indigenous hunter-gatherers manage to stay in the forests? We follow them as they try to forge a new path toward conserving the Congo Basin, one where indigenous people take the lead in saving the forests.


Photo caption: The Whickers’ Consultant Editor Jane Mote and Director of Wildfire Zahra Moloo, The DFM Pitch, Jane Mote speaking on DFM panel to launch FilmMart Africa


Zahra Moloo is a Kenyan journalist and filmmaker. She has directed films and written articles for Al Jazeera, BBC, Africa is a Country, and CCTV’s Faces of Africa series. She was a researcher and director with CBC’s Emmy-nominated documentary series, Interrupt this Program. She also directed Home No More, a short documentary about Islamophobia in Quebec following the 2017 shooting in a mosque, and A Question of Consent, an investigation into genetically modified mosquitoes in Burkina Faso.

Upon receiving the Whickers/DFM Bursary, Zahra said: “I am so honoured to be bestowed the Whickers award at this vital stage of developing the film. I hope I can do justice to the incredible legacy of Alan Whicker.”

Jane Mote, Consultant Editor at The Whickers who presented the award, said: “This is a brave story that questions the motives and actions of major conservation charities as they seeks to re-claim land from indigenous people in the name of climate change protection. Kenyan Director and journalist Zahra Moloo has gained the trust of people affected within the Congo Basin over five years and wants to create a documentary that will make us all think differently about nature and our relation to it. We hope our award will be an encouragement to her at this fragile stage of development for this important story. Thank you to the whole team at DFM for bringing this project and so many other amazing other stories to this market and for being such incredible partners.”

Durban FilmMart Institute describe themselves as the business hub of the African Film industry in a world where African film Industry professionals and products are globally competitive and celebrated. The mission of the Durban FilmMart Institute is to provide appropriate and effective programmes and services to promote, support, and facilitate investment in the African film industries so that African film industry professionals and products are competitive and celebrated globally.

Find out more about the bursary scheme HERE.