There is beauty in any ending. The Last Transhumance is a film about a dying way of life experienced firsthand by the filmmaker. I lived among the last people to ever practice transhumance and I can share this experience with the whole world. Hours and hours of footage will be transformed in a powerful picture depicting the last breath of transhumance. It will document the beauty of disappearance with all its cinematic and emotional force.
I am Dragos Lumpan, Romanian filmmaker and photographer. For 25 years I’ve been working with people. People in their environment became the red thread of all my photo and film projects. Documenting personal spaces within the universe of local communities is what I do best. I’ve filmed and directed many commercials, quite a few shorts and five documentaries, I was the D.O.P for a feature film called The Tank and I published three books. In 2003 I started working for National Geographic on several assignments including one on transhumance. For The Last Transhumance I am the director, cinematographer and producer.
Transhumance is defined as the livestock’s movement in search of available pastures, over considerable distances, following seasonal patterns. Shepherds and their families live in temporary or movable shelters.
In 2007 I started to photograph a family of shepherds in Romania, which for generations had been practicing transhumance. A year later these shepherds gave up going on the road, in transhumance. And so, this family gave the title to this project: Last Transhumance. In 2010 I extended this project about shepherds into several countries: Albania, Greece, Italy, Great Britain and Turkey. My artistic approach is very close to my personal approach. Most times I was on my own with the shepherds. My only crew was just a translator from time to time. I became part of the shepherds’ family. I walked with them, I dined with them, I slept under amazing summer skies and on frozen winter grounds like them. I was one of them and this inside view is an essential part of the film.
Now we are in the middle of post-production. We have rough-cut version ready. It will be a 90-minute anthropological documentary, edited out of 100 hours of footage in the 6 countries of the project, numerous interviews with shepherds and with researchers in anthropology. The film will also include time-lapse images created from over 100,000 photos.
The money we hope to raise with this campaign will enable us to finish the post-production (editing, music, audio, graphics, translations & subtitles, post-production for video & sound). The film will be ready by the end of 2016 and it will be followed by the promotional phase, festival participation and distribution.
The whole project is huge and the budget exceeded 100,000 USD. Until now it was funded by Romanian Cultural Institute ICR, National Cultural Fund Administration AFCN, GAV, Urban Spaces, Vodafone, Delaco, Free Miorita, Ferma Catean, HR Club, Crestem Idei, ABC DATA, Atelierul de grafica, Peasant Museum Bucharest, Macri Studio, Loud Studio & Videosama and own funds.
On the whole, for the post-production stage we need 18000$.
Now, our goal is to collect half of this amount, 9000 $ through this crowdfunding campaign. The other half we successfully gathered in 2015 on the Romanian crowdfunding platform crestemidei.ro.
Afterwards, the film entered the post-production phase. We started editing at the professional film studio ChainsawEurope.
The money we will raise now will be used to finish the post-production:
Music (music & final mix)
Audio (sound, sound editing & synchronization)
Translations & subtitles
Post Production for Video & Sound (color correction, editing / mixing sound)
If we gather more than 9000$ we will use the money for the promotional phase (festival participation and distribution).
The title of the film wasn’t chosen for the sake of its dramatic sound. These ARE the last transhumances. These people and their way of life are not to be forgotten. Shepherds are strong enough to move mountains, which they actually did. They never back down and they never surrender to any obstacle. This is how they made their way into our history and this is how the history must remember them. The importance of this project goes beyond its artistic value. This film will be the last record of one of the things that shaped our history, out culture and ultimately our humanity.
The shepherds who still walk for hundreds and hundreds of miles in search of available pastures for their animals sleep outside most of the year, usually around their flocks protecting it. They live in a parallel world not because they reject the modern times but because they embrace tradition. But the ones who still do it are fewer and fewer. The film will show the yearly cycle of life within these communities, showing their direct connection with nature cycle, with the astronomical calendar and with the people around them.
Transhumance represents a cultural heritage that has molded for centuries the cultural landscape. Nowadays, transhumance is replaced by sedentary forms of sheep breeding. In many regions it is already extinct. The disappearing of transhumance affects not only the spiritual, social and cultural life, but also the mountain regions’ biodiversity.