Filmmakers Citizen Camera and members from the Indigenous Shiwiar tribe of the Ecuadorean Amazon are collaborating to make a film showcasing the perspectives and stories of tribe members with the hope of sharing them with the world. To raise the funds needed for production in Ecuador, an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign has been launched with a goal of raising $21,083 USD. The project, currently titled “Meset Shiwiar”, has one month to receive funding and will close on July 24, 2014.
For hundreds of years indigenous populations have been represented from an outside perspective. How would these representations change if they were given the camera? If the film centered around their interests, ideas, and perspectives instead of themselves as subjects? “Meset Shiwiar” seeks to explore this idea. Filmmakers will be teaching Shiwiar community members in the art of creative filmmaking with DSLR cameras — placing the power of self-representation into their hands and offering audiences a unique insight into their beliefs and daily lives. At the same time the filmmakers will be filming their efforts and the process, highlighting the ways indigenous cultures can be sustained in a changing world.
The end film will explore the process of the workshops, getting to know the characters and culture within the community, and culminates towards sharing their cinematic creations in a special screening in the middle of the Amazon rainforest. The ultimate goal is that by seeing that there is hope for cultural sustainability, audiences will be inspired to connect with, collaborate, and support indigenous populations and cultures in all facets of society. The Shiwiar and filmmakers also hope to inspire other indigenous communities to embrace film as a platform to communicate their unique cultures on their own terms.
Supporters will encourage positive representation, empowerment and a unique insight into a culturally rich community. The Shiwiar and filmmakers have a number of unique perks available for backers including handmade Shiwiar jewelry, portfolio reviews by the filmmakers, prints from the community, “Your Name in the Amazon”, producer credits, and an invitation to the final film screening in Puyo, Ecuador. The campaign is fixed funding, meaning if the goal is not reached within the 30 days, the project will not progress. To help get this project into production, visit https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/meset-shiwiar/x/6997628
For full details including bios, pictures, and videos visit www.mesetshiwiar.com. All photos by Sikora Photography.