• 18:50 Now Playing

    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 filmmakers Tawna, tracks the fight and ongoing legal defence of the Piatúa river against corporation GENEFRAN. From violating the right of indigenous peoples to free, prior and informed consent and the arrest of a presiding judge on the case, ruling in favour of construction, who was found to be receiving a bribe of $40 000 in cash and two bottles of whiskey.

    “This sentence is an important milestone in the construction of the paradigm of the rights of nature in Ecuador.”

    GENEFRAN’s machinery is still on Kichwa ancestral territory – so the fight continues.

  • 2:37 Now Playing

    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 the movement to combat climate change at the forefront in their local communities. It is critical to change the face of anglo-environmentalism and amplify the voices of the real leaders and game changers that are making a difference and fighting for our planet and the future of the next generations to come. There is an audience that demands and deserves real stories with real solutions. This is a chance to voice indigenous peoples stories made and directed by indigenous people.

    Support his project: Crowdfunding link coming soon.

  • 16:05 Now Playing

    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 does not only tell the indigenous activists’ effort to save their forest, land and their people, but it also delivers the message of hope, love and determination to stand for what they believe.

  • 10:09 Now Playing

    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 the hard cortex of the llanchama tree and transform it into a textile material. It seems simple but requires a team of people and several days of work to develop this product that is currently undervalued in the market.

    Arturo Santi from the Jandiayaku community, inheritor of this millenary knowledge, passes it on to young people so that they can preserve this ancient technique that may offer a sustainable alternative for the future and exemplifies their community’s historic and deep connection to their forest home. 

  • 6:11 Now Playing

    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 in Panama August 2018

  • 12:27 Now Playing

    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 that Iban crops are freed from pest.

    The Iban people of Sungai Utik will then carve sculptures that are made to resemble humans. A pair of husband and wife who are called the “Induk”, but they also make the children of the Induk which are called the “Anak” that are based on the amount of fields that will be planted in the current planting season.

    The night after the Agum is finished it is given to the person that will plant it in their field. Then it will be dressed with clothes and fed a mixture of Iban dish that is supposed to get it through the night in preparation for the day after where it will be planted by the very same person that has dressed it.

    The morning after the Agum is dressed, the whole village come together to bless the Agum using the “Kayu Burung” that they collected after hearing the call of the Murai Batu during Baburung. Afterwards, they use the Kayu Burung along with a chicken that has been beheaded to sweep their field during which they also collect all the pest that are in the area such as grasshoppers and many other types of pest as they sweep, which they then put in a bamboo and burn it while they “Besampi” the Iban equivalent of praying, and only after that is done can they finally plant the Agum in the field next to the previous years Agum in hopes that it will protect their field from any dangers, may it be from flooding, pest, forest fire, or anything that may harm the crops.

    Watch 14 year old, Kynan Tegar’s debut film: Mali Umai – A Dayak Iban Ritual, about his indigenous community in Sungai Utik, Indonesia.

  • 5:34 Now Playing

    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

  • 7:13 Now Playing

    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

  • 2:49 Now Playing

    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 Barrigón, Isaac Dogirama and Kenia Saady.

    Produced during the youth training workshop in Panama August 2018

  • 8:28 Now Playing

    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 fight against the erosion of their culture.

  • 13:42 Now Playing

    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 Araribóia indigenous territory is under serious threat. Around it nothing is left standing. Official data from the National Institute for Space Research (INPE) show that Maranhão has already deforested 46% of its forest cover. In the six municipalities around the indigenous territory, this number is even higher: 52.5%.

    The uncontacted Awá Guajá indigenous peoples, share Araribóia indigenous territory with their Guajajara relatives. There are 120 Guajajaras who fight to protect the remaining forest in their land and to guarantee the existence of their uncontacted relatives through their surveillance and monitoring activities.

    Indigenous filmmaker Flay Guajajara took this footage, creating this documentary to mobilize forest defenders globally.

    Erisvan Guajajara of Mídia Índia says:

    “We didn’t have the Awá’s permission to film, but we know that it’s important to use these images because if we don’t show them around the world, the Awá will be killed by loggers. We need to show that the Awá exist and their lives are at risk. We’re using these images as a cry for help and we’re calling for the government to protect the lives of our relatives who don’t want contact with outsiders.”

  • 21:14 Now Playing

    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.

Playlist - 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.

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