Yanomami filmmaker has short film awarded at the Gramado Film Festival

The short film will be shown at the Venice Film Festival in Italy (Reproduction)
Winicyus Gonçalves – From Cenarium Amazon Magazine

BOA VISTA (RR) – The short film “Mãri hi – The Dream Tree (2023)”, produced by Morzaniel Ɨramari, a Yanomami filmmaker from Roraima, won two awards at the 51st edition of the Gramado Film Festival. The production took home the awards for Best Cinematography and the Special Jury Prize.

The filmmaker’s short features the leader and shaman Davi Kopenawa and deals with the Yanomami’s knowledge of dreams. The ceremony took place last Friday, the 18th, in Rio Grande do Sul. The film is produced by Aruac Filmes, co-produced by Hutukara Associação Yanomami (HAY) and produced by “Gata Maior Filmes”. This is the third work by Morzaniel, who produced “The House of the Spirits (2010)” and “Curators of the Earth-Forest (2014)”, as well as signing the translation of the short film “A Woman Thinking (2023)”, made by Yanomami women.

The filmmaker won the award for best short film at the “É Tudo Verdade” festival (2023), a Brazilian documentary film festival that is considered one of the biggest film events in Latin America.

Morzaniel Yanomami was one of the winners at the Gramado Festival (Reproduction/Instagram/@hutukara_yanomami)

Iramari says that the work was born out of the opportunity to talk about the culture of the indigenous Yanomami from their own point of view, without interference from third parties, and that talking about dreams for the Yanomami means talking about what is special and common to everyone in the indigenous group.

“We talk a lot about dreams, because we Yanomami can dream very far. I can dream of other worlds, like this world here. I remember the moon. I can dream of the sky, the rain, the sun. That’s how this film was born, through the dreams of the women, the dreams of the children and the dreams of the shamans, who are the ones who are furthest away”, says the filmmaker.

Yanomami crisis

Iramari is considered the first Yanomami filmmaker, an indigenous ethnic group of 35,000 people that occupies an area between Roraima, Amazonas and Venezuela. The group was one of the most affected during the mandate of the former President of the Republic, Jair Bolsonaro (PL), through a combination of state negligence in health actions and an influx of approximately 20,000 illegal miners who occupied the indigenous territory, which caused one of the biggest health crises among the Yanomami.

“Today, things are a little better. Lula only made a small difference, a small improvement.When Bolsonaro was president, many of us died.There was a lot of violence, sexual abuse of women by illegal miners, diseases and malaria.In 2018, when Bolsonaro started working, he sent many miners here himself.The illegal invaders destroyed a lot of Yanomami territory. That’s when the Yanomami started dying. They started killing, bringing diseases, destroying the forest”, says Iramari.

Venice Film Festival

“Mãri-Hi – The Dream Tree” has a special reservation at the 80th Venice Film Festival in Italy, which runs from August 30 to September 9. September 4 will be the day for indigenous cinema, at “Eyes of the Forest”, which will screen three Yanomami short films and will be a day dedicated to the first indigenous filmmaker, Morzaniel Iramari, and to indigenous Yanomami cinema in Brazil.

Iramari said he intends to use the opportunity to appeal to international audiences for the Yanomami’s fight for rights. “I’m going to talk about the struggle we have today against the invaders and the Temporal Framework. I’ll talk about the health and education needs of my people, but I’ll also talk about good things, like the fact that our traditional culture still exists. I’ll talk about all this by telling the story of the dream tree and how our shamans dream,” he said.


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