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Youth Indigenous-made films

A central part of our mission is working with young storytellers, supporting them to tell their own stories. This can be via workshops, training, commissioning films but also promoting existing films.

Here is a curated list of youth indigenous storytelling.

Piatúa Resists!

Indigenous Kichwa community of the Pastaza province in the Amazon have been fighting the construction of a hydroelectric dam that will have a serious impact on the Piatúa river and the communities that live on its banks. It is also recognised as one of the most biodiverse areas of the planet. This documentary, from indigenous […]

Amazon Stories

Climate Youth and Indigenous Activist Leo Cerda is launching a series to showcase his story and other youth activists making a difference in their local communities. This is the trailer. International media mainly covered stories and centered anglo youth climate activists without portraying or giving limited voice to people of color who have been leading […]

When Women Fight

A short documentary about the youth movement in Kalimantan to tackle and end of the forest fire and toxic haze that has been happening since 1997. A story of people struggling during the worst toxic haze in 2015 and their hope, told by a young Dayak activist based in Palangkaraya, Central Kalimantan. When Women Fight […]

Sapara Clothing: A Tradition in Danger

For centuries, the Sapara people of the Ecuadorian Amazon made their clothes from the resistant and natural fabric that the forest grows for them. As people have become more used to commercial clothing, this tradition has been increasingly neglected. By stripping the bark from the tree and beating it to soften the fibres, they tame […]

Kipara: Traditional Embera Painting

What does body painting mean to the Embera culture?  One finds identity through this ancestral custom. “When I use painting, it’s like being my real self…I realise that I’m a real Emberá. My identity appears.” Film edited by Jose Hernandez; filmed by Truman Granwell, Elio Barrigon and Jose Hernandez. Produced during the youth training workshop […]

Mali Umai - A Dayak Iban Ritual

This ritual starts with one of the elders of the long house, deep in the jungle searching for the majestic call of the White-rumped shama or locally known as the Murai Batu. This tradition is called “Baburung” only after they have finished Baburung, can they start “Mali Umai”, an Iban ceremony that is done so […]

Who are you?

Less and less Embera youth are using their native language. Embera language is crucial to their identity. Embera elders ask “Who are you if you do not speak Embera?’ Film by Norlando Meza, Genesis Barsallo and Christina Mezua Produced during the youth training workshop in Panama August 2018

Story of Embera Puberty

Traditional puberty custom has been a rite of passage for young Emberá women but in recent years it is not being practised as often. Young women share their views on the custom and how it ties into their culture and identity.  Film by Ginger Sanchez From the youth training workshop in Panama August 2018

Valuing the Embera Culture

Dance is integral to the indigenous Embera culture of Panama. So is the body painting. Migdalys Cunampio works to maintain the spirit of these traditions, so the young women do not lose their identity. She is instilling a pride in their customs to rescue their culture; “Always show you’re Embera.” Film by Olo Villalaz, Mara […]

Behind the Bayano

Film by Ivan Jaripio, indigenous filmmaker from the Embera community of Piriati, Panama. A hydroelectric power station was constructed in Panama in the 1970s – displacing indigenous Embera communities. Despite agreement from the state that their relocation would enable them to remake their lives through their traditions and customs, 40 years later they continue to […]

Ka'a Zar Ukyze Wà - Forest Keepers in Danger

Indigenous filmmakers from Midia India release documentary alerting to the grave situation faced by their uncontacted relatives the Awá Guajá, from the Araribóia indigenous territory, one of the most endangered in the Amazon. The Awá Guajá depend intrinsically on the forest for survival – for hunting, for gathering, for water. However, the forest in the […]

Sungai Utik: The Fight for Recognition

The Sungai Utik community in West Kalimantan and their protection of their customary land is emblematic. Young local Dayak filmmaker, Kynan Tegar, traces their story.