The 6th annual International Indigenous and Afro-descendant Film Showcase and Awards took place last week in Lima, Peru. The Anaconda Prize – the event’s top award – went to the Guatemalan film El oro o la vida (Gold for Life).

Hosted by Susana Baca (Afro-Peruvian singer and Minister of Culture), the event expanded this year to 12 films highlighting the experiences of Indigenous and African peoples from the Chaco to the Caribbean.

On the theme ‘The Image of All Peoples,’ two documentaries focused specifically on afrodescendientes. Soy Afro (I Am Afro) offers a view of life and how identity and diversity is constructed in Bolivia.

Soy Afro

The other documentary, Los caminos del grupo Elegguá (Becoming Elegguá), told the story of the folk music group Femenino Elegguá and the different journeys the group members have travelled to become the face of Afro-Venezuelan music.  No trailer is available online, but you can see the group performing here and here.

The festival puts strong emphasis on indigenous and afro-descendant authorship of film.

“Indigenous people are behind the camera as well; they are creators and producers of images, and that marks an important conceptual difference,” said Roger Rumrill, a member of the Center for Indigenous Cultures of Peru, in an interview with CCE Lima.

“It is to not be curious or exotic objects, but to be creators of images in line their identities and cultures.”

There’s no word yet on whether Soy Afro or Los caminos del grupo Elegguá will be available in English, but we will keep our eyes open.

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