To talk about the preservation of mangroves, we could have painted, drawn, sculpted, taken pictures or we could have just written a story. In the end, well, we did all of those things at the same time!


Photo extract from the video tale ‘The Girl who fell in love with the Mangrove’

Photo extract from ‘The Girl who fell in love with the Mangrove’. Picture credits Pauline Dupin and Géraldine Chansard


Our @mangrove.girl project starts with ‘The Woman from the Mangrove,’ a piece of art from Géraldine Chansard, a sculpture created from a mangrove ecosystem and influenced by the story of a true environmental activist. This creation finally inspired me to write a tale that turned into pictures and then a short movie ‘The Girl who fell in love with the Mangrove.’

I wanted the tale to be a poetic adventure which transcribes what emerges from this sculpture: the fight of a woman who wanted to preserve the ecosystem of the mangroves. But the story remains pure fiction.


The birth of an iconic guardian

Géraldine Chansard is a visual artist who lived and worked in Ras Al Khaïmah, United Arab Emirates (UAE) for 8 years. She contacted me to highlight ‘The Woman from the Mangrove’ sculpture for display during UNESCO’s International Mangrove Day. She wanted to try to do this through a video because her sculpture was too fragile to move for the event. This led her to think about other means of communication to show her artwork. Her initial request was to create a simple contemplative video, presenting her sculpture in all its forms.

The piece of art created by @chansardgeraldine was already exhibited in several festivals in UAE

The piece of art exhibited in several festivals in UAE. Picture credits Pauline Dupin and Géraldine Chansard


I asked Géraldine how she discovered the mangroves for the first time. She explained to me how meeting an environmental activist had inspired her to reconnect with this ecosystem in her daily life. Then one day she came across a small plant of mangroves resembling a woman dressed in a wedding dress, like a ‘woman married to nature.’

I finally realized that she tells all this adventure like a story for children, like a ‘tale.’ I suggested that I rewrite her whole story in a fictitious way, in order to challenge the viewer through a plot.

The inspiration and the construction of the sculpture by Géraldine Chansard

The inspiration and the construction of the sculpture by Géraldine Chansard. Picture credits Pauline Dupin and Géraldine Chansard


A tale to be seen

10 minutes is the time it takes to tell you this story through a video. This is done through a series of fictitious reconstructions of scenes from the written tale. A series of real textured and digitally redrawn shots.

I decided to highlight the human being and their close connection to the environment that surrounds them while adding my magical vision of mangroves and my personal artistic touch.

Géraldine Chansard having herself been inspired by the mixtures of textures and materials, made it obvious to me to mix various video visual techniques such as photography, animated painting, and motion design parallax effects (different elements moving at different speeds, creating a 3D depth effect).


Step by step shooting

We had only two weeks in Umm Al Quwain (UAE) to film all the sequences, but even in this limited time, we took only four days to find our three main characters! Supported by the Department of Tourism and Archaeology of UAE, all the silhouettes of the short film are locals who felt involved and inspired by this project. We are extremely grateful for the help of these people who allowed us to gather all the elements necessary for the smooth running of the main shooting in only one week!

Behind the scenes of the shooting

Behind the scenes of the shooting. Picture credits Pauline Dupin and Géraldine Chansard


Protection goals and socio-ecological motivations

We want to make the full project travel all around the world, by showing the film and by finding a definitive place of exhibition for the emblematic piece of art that inspired the story.

We want to create this kind of story so we can tell our young generations, in order to educate them very early to be kind to the nature that surrounds them. And to fight for the preservation of these ecosystems that help our beautiful planet Earth.

Obviously, we want to contribute to an awareness of the role of this ecosystem and the risks associated with their disappearance. But we also want to show the world that the UAE is represented by typical natural areas like Umm Al Quwain mangroves in order to generate eco-tourism, instead of materialistic tourism. And this artistic project also responds indirectly to the sustainable development objectives defined by UNESCO.

Umm Al Quwain mangroves, a painted frame from the movie

A frame from the movie showing Umm Al Quwain mangroves. Picture credits Pauline Dupin and Géraldine Chansard


To watch a teaser of the film click here.


Future exhibitions

From September 2023 to December 2023, we are organizing an exhibition in the media library of our native region, in Beauce, in France, which will present all our ventures, with the sculpture as well as the film.

The film is also selected for the RAK Fine Art Festival 2023, in the Film category, which will take place from February to March 2023

We hope to announce many more new show dates in the meantime. To stay connected and share our story, you can follow us @mangrove.girl on Instagram!


Pauline Dupin is a French author and film director whose universe is divided into two parts: fanciful creations to make people dream and inspire; and the authentic and optimistic reports on the Human and its projects to entertain, enhance or enrich our world.
Her first objective is to mix the imaginary with the real and to tend towards a dreamlike vision of the things that surround us. She is particularly passionate about stop motion creations and hybrid video productions combining various techniques such as painting, drawing or graphic animations.
On another hand, she is assiduous on the field and likes unexpected encounters. Camera in hand, she regularly lets herself be carried to distant lands and people who inspire her... while trying to contribute as best she can to educational, societal, and environmental causes.