HOPE AND STRUGGLE WITHIN THE ECUADORIAN CHOCÓ RAINFOREST
Documentary Produced for and with the Awá Indigenous Community of Guadualito and Afro-Descendant Community of La Chiquita in Defense of their Ancestral Territories in the Chocó Rainforest, Border of Colombia—San Lorenzo Canton, Esmeraldas Province, Ecuador
Principle Products: 1) 50-minute documentary; 2) 3-minute trailer (being completed as we speak)
Time Period of Project: Three-six months for editing and finishing documentary.
Co-Producer & Director, Script, and Camara: Eriberto Gualing Montavo, Founder and Director of Selvas Producciones [Forest Productions]
Co-producer: Julianne (Juli) Hazlewood, Ph.d., Founder and Executive Director of Roots & Routes Intercultural Collaborations
Editor: Francisco Alvarez
Assistant to Director (Second Camara, Sound and Lighting): Valerio Santi, Selvas Producciones
Projected Total Project Budget: To date we have invested $17,000 for 30 hours of footage (complete except for drone material), funded by The Cultural Conservancy’s Mino Niibi Fund. We need $25,000 to complete the documentary film in Spanish and English.
Or with $30,000, we can complete the documentary film in Spanish and English, and you can match us by leaving a second set of video equipment in the Awá participating community in the film school, so that their youth to continue working on films .
History: This project is based on a first-time film school and audio-visual collaboration between ancestral communities in the lowland jungles on both sides of the Andes of Ecuador: the western Coastal Chocó rainforest and the eastern Amazon rainforest.
Principal Objective of Documentary
This documentary interweaves the stories of the two communities—the Awá community of Guádualito and the Afro-descendant community of La Chiquita—who, since time immemorial, live in the last remaining stands of the tropical Chocó jungle (Cantón San Lorenzo, Province de Esmeraldas) along the Ecuadorian-Colombian border and the Pacific Ocean. The documentary’s vision emerges from an Amazon-Chocó video school experience that takes place in communities considered "disposable", but who resist and fight for their survival. They lack drinking water because their shared natural watershed, the Santiago-Cayapas Rivers, is contaminated by large oil palm plantations directly linked to drug trafficking and illegal armed groups, the dispossession of their lands, and subsequent slave-like work conditions in the very lands that were their ancestors’. Nevertheless, the people of San Lorenzo show the world a story of resistance and hope: for nearly two decades, they maintain the first lawsuit for the rights of nature in the world and sustain a sense of community seeking justice and respect for their territories, for their culture, as well for their ancestral, individual and collective rights, Sumak Kawsay (Living Well) and the rights of Pacha Mama (Mother Nature).