Amazon Souls

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Amazon Souls is a 2013 British documentary film directed, produced and presented by Sarah Begum. The film examines the impact of modernity on the culture of the Huaorani tribe in the Ecuadorian Amazon Rainforest.


In 2010, at the age of 21, Sarah Begum travelled deep into the Ecuadorian Amazon Rainforest, to live with the Huaorani tribe and immersed in their ancient way of life. Begum hunts with warriors, gathers with women, captures their stories and struggles whilst investigating into the impacts of oil exploitation on their land. She becomes one of the tribe, is made Queen and married to a warrior to create an alliance and send their message about protecting their land from exploitation.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8]


In 2009, Begum won a place at the Enterprising Student Awards for her then Amazon film idea, and was recognised as the only woman out of the first 10 specially selected participants on this award. The award funded her plane ticket to the Amazon and her volunteer fee for the first two weeks where she taught English to children in the Amazon schools for a charity organisation before travelling deeper into the jungle.[9]

Begum produced, directed, presented then edited the film and funded the film through her life savings and private investors.[9]

Release and reception

Amazon Souls premiered at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival where it was accepted for its 'Short Film Corner'. The film was also selected for the 2013 Sheffield Doc/Fest Videoteque.[9][10]

The film has been endorsed by rainforest charities; Sky Rainforest Rescue, Rainforest Alliance,[9][10] Rainforest Foundation Fund, and Rainforest Concern, and celebrity adventurer Bear Grylls. The President of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, recognised Begum's efforts to raise awareness of deforestation and oil exploitation in Yasuni National Park of the Ecuadorian Amazon basin.[11]


  1. "Queen of the Amazon: British filmmaker 'marries' Ecuadorian tribal warrior after meeting him when she went to the country to film documentary". Mail Online. 15 December 2014. Retrieved 1 August 2015. 
  2. Adams, Sam (15 December 2014). "Meet Britain's real-life Amazon Queen: Filmmaker 'marries' tribal warrior she met while making documentary". Australia: Daily Mirror. Retrieved 1 August 2015. 
  3. Petualangan, Kisah (15 December 2014). "Gadis Cantik Ini Nekat Ke Amazon dan Menikah dengan Prajurit Huaroani". Indonesia: Tribun Jabar. Retrieved 1 August 2015. 
  4. Alexander, Ella (16 December 2014). "British filmmaker Sarah Begum 'marries' Ecuadorian tribal warrior". The Independent. Retrieved 1 August 2015. 
  5. "All for a documentary: Brit filmmaker marries Ecuadorian tribal warrior for authenticity". India: Firstpost. 17 December 2014. Retrieved 1 August 2015. 
  6. "Sarah Begum is now Queen of the Amazon". Australia: 9 February 2015. Retrieved 1 August 2015. 
  7. McAteer, Ollie (11 February 2015). "Londoner who ‘had visions of tribe’ as a kid travels to Amazon and marries warrior". Australia: Metro. Retrieved 1 August 2015. 
  8. Jing, Mao (6 February 2015). "Young TV producer crowned Queen of Amazon tribe". China: China Daily. Retrieved 1 August 2015. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 "Kingston University London". 31 May 2013. Retrieved 1 August 2015. 
  10. 10.0 10.1 Begum, Sarah (October–November 2013). "Once Upon a Time in the Amazon Rainforest...". Guru Magazine. pp. 52–54. Retrieved 1 August 2015. 
  11. "Sarah Begum". Specialist Speakers Speaker Bureau. Retrieved 1 August 2015. 

External links