Social and Environmental Documentary Project
By Alexander Santa
Synopsis of the Documentary
The lives of hundreds of native people from the Andes to the Amazon struggle to keep their history, cosmovision, and forest alive. San Antonio and Achuar (Wijint) in Peru, and Sani Isla in Ecuador are three rainforest communities organized and working on sustainable projects to create alternative income while protecting their forests. Along the way, the importance of the cloud forest in the Andes and the rainforest in the Amazon as hotspots for biodiversity and as global climate regulators becomes clear, as does the role of community members as guardians of the forests.
About the Film
In the summer of 2017, Mariela Palacios as director of projects at Rainforest Partnership and I as videographer volunteer visited the Rainforest Partnership partner communities of Sani Isla in Ecuador, and San Antonio and Wijint in Peru to get to know more about their projects and support them. Aware of the importance of the work being done by these communities and witnessing the innumerable threats in the region, we started creating this documentary as an educative journey for a wide audience and as an empowering communication tool for the community members.
During these two years, we have been researching, planning, and editing some of the necessary material to continue with the production process. The film will feature each community from their particular experience and their peoples history, as well as to show the complex relationship with modern society and its economic development. Each community will be represented by their leaders, members, kids, and elders, and it will include many voices in order to emphasize the importance of their community life.
Mariela Palacios is a community-centered ecologist with experience with local and indigenous communities in different ecosystems, ranging from the tropical dry forest and the tropical Amazonian rainforest to the biogeographical region of Choco in Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. She is also the director of projects of Rainforest Partnership. I’m a videographer with experience in travel TV shows and documentaries focused on social and economic topics. I worked in Colombia with the TV show “Antioquia un Tesoro por Descubrir” broadcasted in the regional channel, searching in more than 40 towns in the Antioquia department for entrepreneurship initiatives and singular natural places to motivate the audience to visit them. For the last two years, I’ve been volunteering and working with Rainforest Partnership in their Films For The Forest short film challenge and supporting the video production to promote their rainforest projects and engage audiences.