Anthropocene: Dandora

Filmmaker Q&A with Director Nicholas de Pencier

Is there a particular video, film, campaign or filmmaker that had a major influence on your career?

Donald Brittain


What motivated you to make your virtual reality project?

Extending the immersive nature of the Anthropocene Project


Please tell us what camera(s) you shot with primarily – and any other special equipment that you used and why you used it.

Various combinations of gopro vr rigs


Please tell us about any special styles or techniques that you used during the production of your virtual reality video to help tell your story.

Gaining privileged access to the Dandorra Landfill


How did your story evolve from day one, to the very last day in post? Is your story what you thought it would be?

You can never script documentary, but we were pleased with how we reacted in situ to the story in VR


Please describe the most rewarding experience you had while making this virtual reality video.

Sharing the important message of cycles of consumption and waste with audiences in a visceral way


What advice can you give to other impact filmmakers?

Identify events and stories that are moving in real life, and capture them


What’s your favorite part about the filmmaking process and why?

Cinematography for the crucible of creativity in real time


What’s the one item you always take with you when working out in the field and why?

No one piece of equipment – every shoot is different and should be treated as such


Please provide a brief description of the work or organization featured in your video:

The Dandora Landfill is the largest of its kind in Kenya. It receives industrial, agricultural, commercial and medical waste, amounting to about 2,000 tonnes per day. It is estimated that more than a million people live in the vicinity of the landfill. Residents work informally, sorting scrap by hand and selling it to recycling plants onsite. The plastic hills and canyons of Dandora represent not only an entirely human landscape but also an emerging microeconomy. Prolific and easy to obtain, waste plastic has become a source on its own, to be mined and sold as source material. But so much of it can not be re-used and will be left to congeal in landfills, spilling into our waterways and oceans, eventually forming a significant sediment layer in the strata of the planet, and marking the Anthropocene in geological time.


What have you learned about the value and impact of the project?

It has been very well received wherever it has been shown


Please share a personal story about your experience making this virtual reality video.

The dignity and humanity of the people working in the landfill belied it’s ostensibly apocalyptic impression.


What do you want audiences to take away from this video?

An appreciation of the interconnectedness of our global environmental challenges


Please list key points that should be covered in a post-screening discussion:

Globalization, single use plastics, waste streams


Please provide information on any recent developments regarding the issue or subjects of the video. How have things changed or not changed?

Kenya has subsequently banned single-use plastic bags


What opportunities are available for those interested in getting further involved?

Local waste-reduction initiatives are appearing with increasing frequency


Please provide any additional resources (websites, links to additional videos, forms, articles, etc.) relevant to the context of the issue discussed in your video:




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