The Sacobia Valley is at the foot of the Mount Pinatubo on Luzon island of the Philippines.
For thousands of years the valley has been home to the Aeta, the Filipino aboriginal people.
Mathilde Landgrebe travelled alone with her video camera and microphone to the Aeta village of San Martin, in the Sacobia Valley, where she lived with the Aeta. She integrates the village and the tribe and gains their trust. The villagers she lives with, the local entrepreneurs, the business investors, the politicians she meets, all play their part in the momentum of a situation that unravels in front of her eyes.
Mathilde Landgrebe is a Franco-British producer. She has produced a variety of films, interactive and static visuals at the NGO Tactical Tech Collective; has been a reporter for Arte TV, and has worked on various documentary film productions for channels such as Discovery Channel, Sundance Channel and History Channel UK. Raised and educated in London, she studied in Paris and now lives in Berlin.
The Aeta are among the earliest inhabitants of the Philippines, arriving over 20 and 30 thousand years ago. Part of the Negrito ethnic group, they are probably the surviving descendants of settlers from early migration out of Africa, although this is still debated by scientists.
Part of the Sacobia Valley has been titled 'Ancestral Domain', allowing the Filipino Indigenous People to own their homeland. This is an untouched jungle area, close to the largest international airport in the Philippines and the infrastructures from the former US military base Clark, and only a two-hour drive away, on the newly built highway, from Manila, the capital. This geographical configuration sums up in itself the issues at stake.
The Philippines constitute a strong emerging market, estimated to become in 2050, 14th world economy (currently 40th), and the largest economy in south-east Asia.
As part of a national development plan, 'The Next Frontier' is the new name given by the Filippino government authorities to the Sacobia Valley, including the ancestral domain. What is the official meaning of this name, and the implicit one ? Is it a promise, or a threat ?
Integrated in the Aeta community, with only her hand-held camera and microphone as the discreet tools of a lone operator, Mathilde Landgrebe finds herself reporting on the crucial moment when the wheels of land-development begin to turn.
Whilst she is filming and interviewing, she gathers the thread linking the indigenous tribe, their daily routine, their hopes, fears, illusions and aspirations, with the Filippino farmers, investors, officials, and their 'wider scheme'.