Smangus: A Year in the Clouds, a documentary about the Atayal community of Smangus, will screen on Taiwan’s Public Television Service (PTS) tonight (30 June). The documentary had its premiere in Smangus on Tuesday night. It is a co-production between PTS and British documentary makers Dean Johnson and Frank Smith. The team filmed various aspects of the daily life in Smangus over a period of 15 months.
According to the official website of the documentary, Smangus was chosen as the subject of the documentary because it is an example of the search for sustainability and coexistence through its system of cooperative management. “Smangus Village is unique not just in Taiwan but an example to the world,” the website says.
I was in Smangus when they shot the scenes of the millet harvest. At that time they were discussing plans to film Smangus from a helicopter. Chief Icyeh had always wanted to fly over Smangus in a helicopter so he joined the crew as they filmed. You can see the video of this on YouTube.
As well as filming from a helicopter the crew filmed the giant trees (Yaya Qparung) of Smangus using cameras mounted on cables. I am sure it will be spectacular to see. Most importantly the documentary will provide a means for more people to learn about and understand Smangus.
You can see a selection of videos related to the production of the documentary on YouTube. Smangus: A Year in the Clouds will screen at 10pm on 30 June 2011 on PTS channel 13 in Taiwan.