Introducing the first documentary film on Socotra ISLAND OF THE DRAGON’S BLOOD TREE [Archives:2002/10/Reportage]

March 4 2002


The Slovenian film producer Arsmedia has made, in coproduction with TV Yemen and TV Slovenia, a 53-minute documentary film about the island of Socotra.
The initiative and idea of ‘The Island of The Dragon’s Blood Tree’ came from Miran Hvala, who first came to Yemen in 1982.
An opportunity for Hvala to visit Socotra came in 1999 when the island was opened for tourists. “What I found was the Sleeping Beauty of Yemen – an island of amazing beauty, of wonderful, open people and an abundance of endemic fauna and floral species—-and the living fossil called the Dragon’s Blood Tree, i.e. the Dracaena cinnabari,” Hvala said.
A wider project
In the following year, a camera crew of three spent a week on the island, working on a wider film project. The crew included the director Igor Likar, who in 1993 and 1997 won the Golden Butterfly of Trento, Italy. Also involved were Janez Kalisnik, a renowned cameraman and Hvala as an executive producer, PR man, organizer and others.
The team shot mainly on the site around Hadibo (the site, the coast and fishermen), Qalansya (the lagoon and the surroundings) and the Dixem plateau (the Dragon Tree and the Canyon.)
Logistic support and expertise were offered by the Socotra Biodiversity Project crew, led by Dr. Edoardo Zandri.
The documentary was taped on Kodak 16mm film and produced according to professional standards as a documentary film essay. It was released in mid-October 2001 on TV Slovenia, covering by satellite HOTBIRD3 the whole of Europe.
More information is available on An English VHS version is available to all interested, as well as pictures and slides for professional purposes.
The distribution and broadcasting of the pictures to a wider audience, especially those of national services, would represent a good opportunity to promote and campaign for the protection of this endangered virgin island.
Slovenian Hvala has held a number of different positions within the Slovenian Radio and TV, such as electronic engineer on the transmitter department, head of the engineering department of the transmitters and assistant of General Director for financial management.
He also cooperated with Yemen TV and Radio for a number of years before he turned to making documentary films.
For more information, contact Hvala
Lubejeva 3
SI-1000 Ljubljana
Tel/fax: +386 1 5190486
email: [email protected]
or in Sana’a
Fax: +967 1 274119 NTSC COMP before end of March