!aouo !a!a wa – meaning „The Stumbling Cheetah“ in traditional San Bushmen language – tells the origin story of the fastest animal on land and interweaves it with the difficult situation today, in which these big cats are considered a pest by many livestock farmers.

Director’s Statement

In 2017 I was volunteering at a wildlife sanctuary and at a carnivore research facility in Namibia.

!aouo !a!a wa was inspired by that stay. I brought my vintage 16mm camera and four rolls of expired Fuji film stock with me and shot the film on two days during that two week period. I’ve met wonderful people there, who in one way or another shaped this film. The team literally consisted of one guy with a camera and so I am especially grateful to the guides who helped organize the shoot and to the talent in front of the camera. They contributed greatly to capturing these images. Close encounters with the cheetahs only strengthened my desire to raise awareness for the difficult situation these majestic animals are in today.

The Film was shot on an Eclair NPR 16mm camera with an Angenieux zoom lens and Lomo anamorphics. While shooting with the cheetahs a zoom lens provided the flexibility needed in order to capture those fleeting moments of human-animal interaction.