DEFENDERS OF LIFE AT GARIFUNA INTERNATIONAL INDIGENOUS FILM FESTIVAL VENICE, CALIFORNIA ON SUNDAY, MAY 21 AT 7:45PM
The sixth annual Garifuna International Indegenous Film Festival is six days of films from May 12 – 27th. I learned of the festival because of the upcoming screening of ‘Defenders of Life’ from director/writer Dana Ziyasheva and Igor Darbo (Producer) that is set in the Indigenous community of Costa Rica and filmed on location.
I am very interested to learn of the Garifuna International Indigenous Film Festival and am excited to add this to my list of ‘Festivals to Attend’. I love seeing films representing diverse voices and stories that expose me to lives and people. The festival is during the weekend so am hoping to attend a film or two to see from another person’s eye how they see the world around them.
The film will be screened on Sunday, May 21 at 7:45pm at The Electric Lodge, 1416 Electric Avenue, Venice, CA 90291with Dana Ziyasheva & Igor Darbo scheduled to attend. If you are unable to attend it is available exclusively on FlixPremiere at https://flixpremiere.com/film/
‘Defenders of Life’ at the Garifuna Film Festival,” said Ziyasheva, a journalist by training and former communications expert with the United Nations. “It is particularly important to me to show the film in the framework of an indigenous art event and next to other films by or about indigenous realities,” added Ziyasheva.
Every year, the Garifuna International Indigenous Film Festival connects the Garifuna diaspora from all over the world as well as indigenous communities from across the globe via one of the most powerful art forms: film. Celebrating its sixth annual edition in 2017, GIIFF will kick off May 12th and run through May 27th. “Defenders of Life” is among more than 27 films selected by the festival, including features and shorts from the U.S., Honduras, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Peru, Iran, and African and other countries.
Director Ziyasheva agrees. Her film is set among in an indigenous community of Costa Rica and was inspired by people she served as a U.N. worker. “‘Defenders of Life’ was born out of the real-life friendship between Carmen, a Ngäbe matriarch, and myself, a United Nations civil servant from Kazakhstan,” she said.
“When staying at her house, we spent a lot of time talking about her life and her hopes/fears for her daughters and granddaughters. We both wanted to give voice to the voiceless, leaving a proud testimony of her ancient civilization under threat and show the place and challenges of women in this culture. We both wanted it to be aesthetic and allegorical,” said Ziyasheva.
The project relied totally on the trust her team built with the community. “We could not disrupt the balance of their lives with a large crew, gear trucks, etc.,” she said. “That was one condition of theirs for allowing us to make the film, along with having all their dialogue spoken in the Ngäbe native language, rather than Spanish. They knew and accepted each one of us into their private spaces and homes, and we lived on site the entire time of the shoot,” she added.
This year’s festival theme is “Remembering the Garifuna Holocaust” to pay tribute to the early Garifuna warriors that died for their people’s freedom 220 years ago, according to festival director Freda Sideroff. The Garifuna people are descendants of the only black Africans in the American continent who successfully fought against being enslaved, “paying the ultimate price, the death of many, and the relocation of resilient survivors,” said Sideroff.
WHAT: Garifuna International Film Festival 2017