The Island President

The Island President


About the Film

Jon Shenk’s The Island President tells the story of former president Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives, a man confronting a problem greater than any other world leader has ever faced—the survival of his country and everyone in it. After bringing democracy to the Maldives after thirty years of despotic rule, Nasheed is now faced with an even greater challenge: As one of the most low-lying countries in the world, a rise of three feet in sea level would submerge the 1200 islands of the Maldives enough to make them uninhabitable. MORE

The Island President captures Nasheed’s first year of office, culminating in his trip to the Copenhagen Climate Summit in 2009, where the film provides a rare glimpse of the political horse-trading that goes on at such a top-level global assembly. Nasheed is unusually candid about revealing his strategies —leveraging the Maldives’ underdog position as a tiny country, harnessing the power of media, and overcoming deadlocks through an appeal to unity with other developing nations. When hope fades for a written accord to be signed, Nasheed makes a stirring speech, which salvages an agreement. Despite the modest size of his country, Mohamed Nasheed has become one of the leading international voices for urgent action on climate change.

In February 2012, the military and police ousted Mohamed Nasheed as leader of the Maldives. Since the power shake-up that put President Mohammed Waheed Hassan and the Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM) in control, Nasheed has led protests and begun campaigning for an election scheduled later in 2013. However, the current government has other plans. They’ve accused Nasheed of illegally arresting a judge during his time in office, and if Nasheed is convicted, he will be ineligible to run. So far, Nasheed refused to appear at his trial. He was arrested briefly for defying the court order, but returned to the campaign trail in the southeastern Meemu Atoll. But in March 2013, a court in the Maldives banned Nasheed from traveling abroad and he was subsequently arrested and imprisoned.


The Filmmaker

Jon Shenk is a documentary filmmaker, cinematographer, and founder of Actual Films. He was the Director of Photography for the Academy Award-winning Smile Pinki (2009) and was awarded an Emmy for Blame Somebody Else (2007), a feature story about human trafficking for the PBS series, Exposé. Shenk directed and photographed the Emmy-nominated Lost Boys of Sudan (2004), a feature documentary that follows two young refugees of Sudan’s civil war through their first year in America. He has produced and photographed dozens of documentaries for PBS, the BBC, A&E, Bravo, CBS, NBC, and National Geographic and has been nominated twice for Emmys for his cinematography. He received a B.A. from Yale in 1991 and a M.A. in Documentary Filmmaking from Stanford in 1995.

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Film Credits

Directed by
Jon Shenk

Produced by
Richard Berge

Produced by
Bonni Cohen

Executive Producer
Jon Else

Director of Photography
Jon Shenk

Edited by
Pedro Kos

Sound Recordist
Lincoln Else

Co-Editor
Josh Peterson

Co-Producer
Spencer Adler

Associate Producers
Shazra Aishath
Craig Hickerson

Additional Camera
Jon Else
Lincoln Else
Petr Stepanek
Martin Stepanek

Aerial Camera
Thomas C. Miller

Underwater Camera
Rifshan Shaheem

Additional Editing
John Haptas

Additional Sound
Peter Schou Anderson
Mike Jones
Mark Roy
Merce Williams

Music Supervisor
Doug Bernheim

Additional Music Composed by
Marco d"™Ambrosio

Production Assistants
Mads Jorgensen
Mohamed Areesh
Mohamed Mannau Hamid
Ali Ruwan

Intern
Christina Badalich Choi

Post-Production Sound
Berkeley Sound Artists

Sound Designer/Mixer
James LeBrecht

Dialogue & Foley Editor
Patti Tauscher

Sound Effects Editor
Jamie Branquinho

Sound Mixer
Dan Olmsted

Sound Effects Editor
Chase Keehn

Motion Graphic Artists
Drew Takahashi
Andy Murdock
Jonathan Golles
John Atkinson

High Definition Post Production
ZAP Zoetrope Aubry Production

On Line
Ri Crawford

Color
Leo Hallal

Text Design
Elisa Tanaka

Advisors
Mary Robinson
Terry Tamminen
David Fenton
Dr. Ahmed Shaig

World Sales
Films Transit International, Inc.

Archival Video and Photographs
ABCNews Videosource
Ahmed Moosa
BBC News Theme licensed courtesy of BBC Worldwide
CCTV
The Dhivehi Observer
NDTV
Maldives National Broadcasting Corporation (MNBC)
CNN
Gillman & Soame
David Hardingham
ITN Source / Channel 9 Australia
Laila Ali
NBC News Archives
Maldives Police Service
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Maldives
Mohamed "Baby" Nasheed
Ahmed RasheedRitzau
SBS
SCUBAZOO
Thought Equity Motion / BBC Motion Gallery
TV2 / Danmark
UN Visual Library, Department of Public Information
Visionworks Television

Music

"Electioneering"
"Everything In Its Right Place"
"How to Disappear Completely"
"Hunting Bears"
"I Might Be Wrong"
"In Limbo"
"Kid A"
"Morning Bell"
"Optimistic"
"Treefingers"
Written by Colin Greenwood, Jonathan Greenwood, Edward O'Brien,
Philip Selway, & Thomas Yorke
Performed by Radiohead
Published by WB Music Corp. (ASCAP)
Courtesy of EMI Records Ltd.
Under license from EMI Film & Television Music

"Idioteque"
Written by Colin Greenwood, Jonathan Greenwood, Edward O'Brien,
Philip Selway, Thomas Yorke & Paul Lansky
Performed by Radiohead
Published by WB Music Corp. (ASCAP)
Courtesy of EMI Records Ltd.
Under license from EMI Film & Television Music

"House of Cards"
"Weird Fishes/Arpeggi"
"Reckoner"
Written by Colin Greenwood, Jonathan Greenwood, Edward O'Brien,
Philip Selway, & Thomas Yorke
Performed by Radiohead
Published by WB Music Corp. (ASCAP)
Under license from Warner/Chappell Music LTD

"Sun Drugs"
"Down II"
"Lactate's Moment"
"Cantus II: in Memory of Warren Wiltzie"
"The Better Angels of Our Nation"
"Arch Song"
"Jan. '69"
Written and Performed by Stars Of The Lid
Published by LidMusic (BMI)
Courtesy of Kranky, Ltd.

"Wathan Edhey Gotha"
Male Vocals by Abdhullah Shaffaan, Abdhullah Munaz, Hassan Jalaal, & Ahmed Visham
Female Vocals by Aishath Samaha, Hunaidha Rasheed, Naashidha Ahmed, & Aminath Vishama
Recording Engineer: Moosa Samaau
Assistant Recording Engineer: Mohamed Allam Latheef
Recording, Mixing and Mastered by -5dB Music Studio

"Mello Profundo"
Written By John Henry Dale
Performed by John Henry
Produced by John Henry
John Henry appears courtesy of JHD Multimedia Inc.
Published by Cheeseless Bitefunk Music (ASCAP)
Administered by JHD Multimedia Inc.

Special Thanks
Ahmed Abbas
Jennifer Battat
Alessandra Berge
Eri Berge
Banyan Tree Madivaru
Comdt Thimmy Cherian
Daniel Cooney
Bryce Edge
Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru
Angus Fulton
The Good Pitch team
Dr. Mohammed Waheed Hassan
Jamie Herre
Deborah Hoffman
Indian Coast Guard Maldives Dhruv Helicopter Team
Chris Jarvis
Maldives National Defence Force
Maldivian Air Taxi
Maldivian Airlines
Freida Lee Mock
Roger Munns
Melody Morgan
MVK Madlvie Pvt Ltd
Lars Erik Nielsen
Stephen Pielocik
PUMA.Creative Mobility Award
Zaheena Rasheed
Jenny Raskin
Nazim Sattar
Abraham Shenk
Anabel Shenk
Cynthia Smith
Soneva Gili by Six Senses
United States Secret Service
Carol Wallace
Sophy Williams
Mohamed Ziyad

Co-Executive Producer
Dan Cogan

Executive Producer for ITVS
Sally Jo Fifer

Funding Provided by
Ford Foundation
The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
The Atlantic Philanthropies
Spencer Adler
Sundance Institute Documentary Fund
Tiffany Schauer
Brian L. Ferrall and Laurie K. Poston
The Wallace Global Fund

The Island President is a co-production of AfterImage Public Media
and the Independent Television Service (ITVS), in association with Actual Films
and Impact Partners, with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

The Island President is produced by AfterImage Public Media,
which is solely responsible for its content.

© 2011 AfterImage Public Media. All rights reserved.

Not everyone agrees about the science of climate change, but it’s increasingly hard to ignore the effects of extreme weather events and a measurable rise in sea level. Do you live in an area that may be affected by global warming? Are you motivated to try and change public policy relating to the environment?

AWARDS

  • International Documentary Association
    Pare Lorentz Award
  • Toronto International Film Festival
    People's Choice Award
  • Sheffield International Documentary Festival
    Sheffield Green Award - Special Mention
Please review our comment guidelines.
Not everyone agrees about the science of climate change, but it’s increasingly hard to ignore the effects of extreme weather events and a measurable rise in sea level. Do you live in an area that may be affected by global warming? Are you motivated to try and change public policy relating to the environment?