The Documentary


Update! The film is now available for download on iTunes, Amazon and Google Play as well as on DVD in our store! Download or purchase the dvd today and tell your friends.  Help us spread the word about Lale’s incredible journey and his fight for the children of the Omo Valley!


View the trailer for the award winning film Omo Child: The River and the Bush. To date the film has been accepted at over 40 film festivals around the world and won 25 awards including Best Documentary, Best Cinematography and Audience Choice Awards.

Omo Child: The River and The Bush tells the amazing true story of one man’s journey to bring about a progressive cultural shift that will save children’s lives. Lale Labuko, born and raised in the Kara tribe in the Omo Valley, Ethiopia learns of “mingi” at age 15. Children born out of wedlock, or whose top teeth grow in before their bottom teeth, or even those who are born a twin, are killed by virtue of this ancient tradition that deems them “mingi”, or cursed. Lale strives to not only save these children’s lives but to also lift the “burden” from the shoulder’s of the Kara people; he adopts these children as his own. Lale attempts to reconcile with Kara elders to end this tradition forever in order to ultimately protect the longevity of his people and his culture. Filmed over a five year period this documentary paints stunning portraits of Ethiopian landscapes as it follows Lale’s journey where he confronts his own death, negotiates deeply rooted superstition, and navigates the difficult position of leading a cultural movement.




Cinema Society 2015/16 Society’s Finest Documentary Award (#1)

Social Impact Media Award – Ethos Jury Award

IndieFest Grand Prize Humanitarian Award

2015 Festival Awards


World Premiere Washington D.C. Independent – Best Documentary

Sun Valley International Film Festival – Special Recognition “One in a Million” Doc

Palm Beach International Film Festival – Best Documentary

Arizona International Film Festival – Best Cinematography

ASU Human Rights Film Festival – Best of Fest

HotDocs – Top 10 Audience Award

Accolades Global Film – Award of Excellence

Mammoth Lakes Film Festival – Audience Choice Best Documentary

Real to Reel Film Festival – Audience Choice Best Doc

New Hope Film Festival – Best Documentary

IndieFest – Award of Excellence

Oceanside International Film Festival – Best Documentary

Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival – Best Documentary

Wine Country Film Festival – Cinema for Conscience Award

Lunenburg DocFest – Best Feature Film

BendFilm Festival – Audience Choice Best Feature

Tallgrass International Film Festival – Outstanding Cinematography

Ottawa International Film Festival –  (2) Best Feature Film and Best Original Music

Charleston International Film Festival – (2) Jury Award Best Documentary and Audience Choice Award Best Documentary

Red Rock Film Festival – Audience Choice Best Documentary


For more information about the film please visit