Tickets are on sale for pre-release screenings of The Island President, a documentary feature film following President Mohamed Nasheed to the 2009 Copenhagen Climate Summit.
Screenings in the Maldives will be subtitled in Dhivehi for the local audience. Director Jon Shenk will attend the premiere.
The film, which has a 9/10 rating on IMDB (Internet Movie Database) and received the People’s Choice Award for Best Documentary at the Toronto International Film Festival, will be released in cinemas across the US in February 2012.
The Island President has been warmly received by film critics overseas both for behind-the-scenes look at international climate politics, and Nasheed’s candour in his dealings with foreign heads of state.
Reelfilms criticised the film for its 101 minute length and “dry, overtly political final half hour”, but praised director Jon Shenk’s opening of the film “with a whirlwind look at Nasheed’s journey from political prisoner to public official.”
“It’s ultimately Nasheed himself who compensates for the movie’s uneven atmosphere, as the remarkably even-tempered politician comes off as a tremendously likeable and engaging figure who seems universally beloved by his people,” wrote reviewer David Nusair, following the film’s airing in Toronto.
Toronto weekly entertainment publication NOW described the film as “a fascinating look at an extraordinary personality”, with Shenk given “impressive access to this humble head of state”.
“Unfortunately, the director undermines the urgency of his material with poor choices including flashy visuals and a soundtrack featuring Radiohead that feels completely out of place,” wrote Radheyan Simonpillai.
The film was funded by several American charitable foundations, including the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Ford Foundation, John D. and The Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, The Atlantic Philanthropies and the Sundance Institute Documentary Fund.
It has also appeared at the Telluride Film Festival, a documentary film festival in New York, and will be be aired at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam this week before travelling to the Maldives.
After the Maldives, the film will travel to Goa, to be screened at the International Film Festival of India.
The Island President premieres at Dharubaaruge on Wednesday night at 8:30pm Tickets are on sale at Raalhugandu point and Athena Cinema from 4:30pm to 11:00pm.
It will also be shown at 11:30pm on Wednesday, and at 8:30pm and 11:30pm on Thursday. The film will also be screened at Athena Cinema at 8:30pm and 11:30pm on Thursday. Tickets for the Athena showings must be bought from Athena Cinema.