OKAVANGO: RIVER OF DREAMS (DIRECTOR’S CUT) | Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Beverly Joubert

Dereck Joubert and Beverly Joubert explore the natural wonder of the southern African river delta ecosystem.

Festival Section:
Documentary Premieres

Sundance Program Description:

Africa’s Okavango Delta contains an enormous and vibrant river that provides the stage for a seemingly endless diversity of wildlife. An extensive array of animals are shown living in communion with the mighty river in Botswana as they hunt, forage, and scavenge alongside the constantly shifting water’s edge; big cats, elephants, African skimmers, hippos, crocodiles, painted dogs, and bush babies all thrive and survive amongst one another in acutely specific ways. Even the water itself is explored as a living character as it morphs and changes throughout the seasons. It is a testament to the interconnectedness of life on Earth and the need for biodiversity to retain the delicate balance of nature.

Filmmakers Dereck and Beverly Joubert have created an utterly breathtaking example of visual storytelling with rich clarity. Each dazzling closeup of the exotic flora and fauna is truly remarkable, as is the narration by F Murray Abraham accompanying the stunning images. Calling itself a love letter to the greatest river in Africa, OKAVANGO: RIVER OF DREAMS observes a unique ecosystem with a skilled and deeply perceptive eye.

Some Background:


  • Dereck Joubert

    Based in Africa, Dereck Joubert is a multi-Emmy- and Peabody Award-winning filmmaker, writer, conservationist, and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence who has made numerous nature documentaries for NatGeo in partnership with his wife, Beverly, through their Wildlife Films production company. He also serves as a cinematographer for this project. The Jouberts previously were panelists at Sundance in 2016.


  • Beverly Joubert

    Beverly Joubert shares the same accolades as her husband, Dereck, while also serving as the sound designer for their nature documentaries, including this project. She is also an acclaimed photographer, who has used her work to raise awareness for the couple’s conservation focused on the plight of big cats in the wild.


  • Ivo Filatsch

    The Emmy-nominated Filatsch is with Vienna-based Terra Mater Factual Studios.

Executive Producers:

  • Sabine Holzer

    Holzer is also with Terra Mater as head of specialist factual, and is also a multi-Emmy nominee.

  • Walter Köhler
    Past Sundance docs:

    SEA OF SHADOWS (2019)

    The Emmy-winning Köhler is the CEO of Terra Mater, which he founded after three decades at Austria broadcaster ORF.

  • Dinah Czezik-Müller
    Past Sundance docs:


    Czezik-Müller is COO of Terra Mater.


  • Jolene van Antwerp

    van Antwerp is a Johannesburg-based editor with the Joubert’s Wildlife Films.

Why You Should Watch:
The Jouberts have distilled their three-part docuseries of the same name into a cinematic feature. Featuring lush wildlife photography and a memorable menagerie of subjects, their film is a vivid and vital reminder of the deep connections between nature’s diverse lifeforms and the fragile habitats they call home.

More Info:
Sundance’s Meet the Artist Profile

For Sundance screening dates and times, click the film title in the first paragraph.

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Filed under Documentary, Film, Film Festivals, Recommendations, Sundance

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