Cinemaissí supports indigenous-made film from Latin America at International Film Festival

Cinemaissí are collaboration partners for Skábmagovat Indigenous People’s Film Festival 2020. Taking place this year from 23-26th January in Inari, Lapland, the festival is known for its Revontuli theatre, an outdoor theatre where the seats, walls and screen are all made of snow. It is one of the longest-standing international film festivals to screen only indigenous-made film, founded even before the enormous imagineNATIVE. Cinemaissí is honoured to be involved in their 22nd edition, with the spotlight on indigenous talent from Latin America.

For Skábmagovat 2020, Cinemaissí have enabled a film by Brazilian indigenous Director, Alberto Álvares, of Guarani-Ñandeva, to be a part of the festival selection, alongside such films as “Winaypacha”, the first Aymara film, and a new gem in Quechua from the brothers Alvaro Sarmiento and Diego Sarmiento.

Cinemaissí will also be attending the festival to meet with international directors, to listen to the discussions and to look out for future collaborations and possible film selections for 2020.

Born from a desire to learn from previous years and to evolve as a festival, through this project we are specifically acting upon the lessons learned during the ‘Indigenous Cultures’ discussion of the ‘Cinema in Conversation’ series in 2019.

Self-representation through film is a powerful tool for indigenous communities across the world. In the conversation, Director Suvi West, described the suffering and oppression of the Sápmi people. Suvi highlighted that “indigenous cinema is a healing cinema”, “we make films for own people to be healed” and empower them to make films.

Knowing the importance of film for indigenous peoples, and especially during these turbulent political times in the Latin American continent, Cinemaissí is determined more than ever to ensure that the rich diversity and the many faces of Latin America reaches Finland and that these groups are given voice through film.

Alberto Álvares’ film “Memory Keepers”  is a documentary made in five Guarani villages in Rio de Janeiro State. It describes how the leaders and elders make memory and knowledge circulate by using prayers, narratives and beautiful words in the prayer house. It will be screening on Saturday 25th January at 15.00, in Siida, The Sámi Museum and Nature Centre.

This project was made possible by many people. A huge thanks goes to the belief and friendship established with Skábmagobvat and their Artistic Director, Jorma Lehtola. Thanks to the financial support of the Brazilian Cultural Centre of Finland as well as the hard work of Diego Barros and Bianca Benini in creating the connections with Brazil.

Thanks also go to indigenous writer Daniel Munduruku who connected this project to Vídeo nas Aldeias (VNA / Video in the Villages). The independent NGO creates important image archives about indigenous peoples in Brazil, and has produced over 70 films, most of which have received national and international awards. VNA created an open call which provided Skábmagovat with Alberto’s film for this year’s final selection. You can read more about their work and the filmmakers here.

Cinemaissí are looking forward to watching films by international talent and supporting indigenous film production under the Lapland starry sky.

You can read about “Cinemaissi goes Skábmagovat” on our blog and on social media at the end of January.