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February 2011

Filmmaker Pierre Deschamps' 'Man of the Soil' film - shot with the EOS 5D Mark II on location in the Commonwealth of Dominica - has won the best film award in the 'Shorts' category of the second International Forest Film Festival (IFFF), organised by the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival in collaboration with the United Nations Forum on Forests Secretariat.

Deschamps' 'Man of the Soil' film was shown, alongside winning films from the five other IFFF categories, to delegates from all 192 United Nations countries at the launch of the International Year of Forests 2011 at UN headquarters in New York on 2 February 2011. The six winning IFFF films will also be screened at hundreds of venues around the world throughout 2011.

'Man of the Soil' was the first ever film project that Deschamps shot using an EOS DSLR, and he told CPN: "I feel extremely proud about this award. With 2011 being the United Nations' designated International Year of Forests the film will garner many international screenings and will be seen by those who can impact forest policies in the future. I consider it a great blessing that this creation of mine will now have a life of its own contributing to environmental debate."


Click here to watch Pierre Deschamps' award-winning 'Man of the Soil' film.

'Man of the Soil' has previously won an award for best editing from Serbia's SILAFEST international film Festival (2009) and a special mention for best cinematography at the Bridgetown Film Festival, Barbados (2009). Other accolades for the film include becoming the official selection for the Third Annual Africa World Documentary Film Festival (2010) in St. Louis, USA, and being selected by the Berlinale 2010 Berlin International Film Festival in the Culinary Cinema section. 'Man of the Soil' has also been broadcast on the CANAL+ channel in Poland.

The film - shot with the EOS 5D Mark II and a variety of Canon EF lenses, from an EF15mm f/2.8 Fisheye up to an EF300mm f/2.8L IS USM telephoto lens with 2x extender - tells the story of Jerry Makawest, a Nom Tèw (Man of the Soil) who lives in harmony with nature. Pierre Deschamps commented: "We shared a special moment and it is fantastic to see to what extent a simple film can touch so many people. We hope that the film will inspire others to take care of the forest the way Jerry does."

© Pierre Deschamps

Filmmaker Pierre Deschamps.

Pierre Deschamps revealed: "The main character, 'Jerry', had no idea about film making, but I didn't want to be an intruder in his day-to-day life - shooting on the EOS 5D Mark II allows this as there is much less bulk to deal with in terms of equipment. I would tell Jerry what I wanted to do and that I would simply try to follow him. Ultimately, this is why I love the film so much, everything had to be done in the camera at the moment it happened."

Pierre Deschamps explained his use of the EOS 5D Mark II: "I realised that it would be the perfect match for me, since I already had a set of Canon lenses. The compactness of the camera and the fact that it's easy to use and very versatile made it ideal for my work, so I decided to invest in the camera and more lenses. Importantly, I think Canon really understands that the DSLR can really hold its own against 'traditional' video cameras; the 5D Mark II really stands tall."

With 'Man of the Soil' having made its mark around the world Pierre Deschamps is currently working on a new documentary project based around the 2011 Rugby World Cup and how the comparatively small nation of New Zealand produces the hugely successful 'All Blacks' rugby team. Deschamps is currently shooting the project with a mixture of the EOS 5D Mark II and EOS 7D DSLRs, plus the Canon XF305 Full HD camcorder.