Israel’s infamous “garbage mountain” shone on the silver screen on Thursday, when a two-minute short film on its transformation from dump to destination took home first place at a ceremony in Durban, South Africa.
The film, called The Hiriya Project: A Mountain of Change and produced by Eitan Dotan, won first place in the Clean Development Mechanism Changing Lives Photo and VideoContest 2011, which was part of this year’s United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) currently taking place in Durban.
Narrated in a child’s voice, in English, the animated movie goes through the birth, demise and remake of the Hiriya landfill, highlighting the dangers posed by the overwhelming amount of garbage there. It also presented the recycling facilities and park that sprawl above the trash and methane gases today. Dotan created “Mountain of Change” on behalf of the Hiriya Recycling Park and Dan Region Association of Towns.
Winning the video category’s second and third places were films on, respectively, a program about geothermal energy on Lihir Island in Papua New Guinea, and the recovery from the Al-Shaheen oil field fire in Qatar.
Among the top three photographs were images of the Egyptian Brick Factory, in which brick kilns were converted from burning heavy oil to natural gas; a Chinese biomass power-generation project; and the Fujian Jinjiang LNG Power Generation Project, which is also located in China. The winners were announced at a ceremony hosted by UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres.
“It’s really great what is happening here,” the young male narrator of the Israeli film begins, as a sign for 1953 appears on the screen.
“Once, this whole area was flat. Then all the garbage from the center of the country began to be dumped here. More garbage… and more garbage.”
On the screen, sketched gobs of lime green garbage appeared next to photographs of the real trash that had begun piling up 60 meters high.