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How is filmmaking protecting the future of cultures?

GLF Live with documentary filmmaker Guille Isa and poet Donatella Gasparro

Documentary filmmaking is a powerful tool in the pursuit of truth, turning audiences into personal witnesses of pieces of the world’s history. In the current state, when environmental changes are threatening the survival of societies and their cultures, documentaries are becoming even more consequential; by visually confronting us with what has and might be lost, they narrow the room for excuses for turning a blind eye to vulnerable people and landscapes and compel us to have a personal hand in fighting climate change.

In a youth-led GLF Live, Lima-based documentary filmmaker Guille Isa discussed with poet Donatella Gasparro why young filmmakers are increasingly focusing their work on the interconnections between culture and nature, and how this can translate into building a more equitable, sustainable future.

Guille Isa is a half-Japanese, half-Peruvian documentary filmmaker based in Lima. His films explore craft, culture, belief systems and environmental issues in Latin America. His most recent documentary short film Dulce, about a young girl in a small Colombian jungle village, has screened at film festivals Sundance, Doc NYC, IDFA, Toronto and New York Times Op-Docs and won the Grand Prix at Palm Springs, Tampere and Tokyo Short Shorts. His other films include The Offering, about scissor dancing rituals in the Peruvian Andes; Awana, on the weavers maintaining ancient Inca techniques; Home at Dawn, a portrait of a poet and celebrated Peruvian fisherman and chef; Ciudad de retablos, on the centuries-old art form of creating Peru’s religious altars; and CNN Great Big Story: Curandero about plant-based medicines in the Amazon. Visit his website here.

Donatella Gasparro published her first collection of poems in Italian in 2017, Tenere casa in ordine (SECOP Edizioni), at the age of 22. She was a finalist in the 2015 and 2016 Italian Poetry Slam championships and has performed her poems at TEDx, Danone and the Global Landscapes Forum, among others. She holds a master’s in agroecology from Wageningen University & Research, where she currently works as an education assistant.

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