2016 Sundance Docs in Focus: WHEN TWO WORLDS COLLIDE

when two worldsMy third week of Sundance previews open with the final film of the World Cinema Documentary Competition: From Peru, Heidi Brandenburg and Mathew Orzel’s WHEN TWO WORLDS COLLIDE details a contentious battle between development and conservation.

Festival Section:
World Cinema Documentary Competition

Sundance Program Description:

In this tense and immersive tour de force, audiences are taken directly into the line of fire between powerful, opposing Peruvian leaders who will stop at nothing to keep their respective goals intact. On the one side is President Alan Garcia, who, eager to enter the world stage, begins aggressively extracting oil, minerals, and gas from untouched indigenous Amazonian land. He is quickly met with fierce opposition from indigenous leader Alberto Pizango, whose impassioned speeches against Garcia’s destructive actions prove a powerful rallying cry to throngs of his supporters. When Garcia continues to ignore their pleas, a tense war of words erupts into deadly violence.

Filmmakers Heidi Brandenburg and Mathew Orzel capture all angles of a volatile political and environmental crisis with breathtaking access and bold, unflinching camera work. From the raucous halls of justice to deep in the heart of the Amazon jungle, WHEN TWO WORLDS COLLIDE exposes a titanic clash between a president hungry for economic legitimacy and an outspoken environmentalist desperate to protect an ancient land from ruin.

Some Background:
Directors: Heidi Brandenburg and Mathew Orzel
Both Brandenburg and Orzel make their feature directorial debut after previously collaborating on short doc portraits. This project previously received support from the Sundance Institute’s Documentary Film Program.

Producer: Taira Akbar
This marks Yachaywasi Films’ first project at Sundance.

Editor: Carla Gutierrez
Gutierrez’s past editing credits include Sundance doc feature alumni CESAR’S LAST FAST (2014) and THE FALL OF FUJIMORI (2005), as well as the Oscar-nominated Sundance doc short LA CORONA (2008).

Why You Should Watch:
Telling a complex story that spans several years, Brandenburg and Orzel expertly construct their film to feel ever in-the-moment. Pizango and his fellow indigenous Amazonians quickly emerge as resolute Davids vs Garcia’s Goliath as they engage in a battle that unexpectedly takes on national, if not global, significance.

More Info:

For Sundance screening dates and times, click the link in the first paragraph.

To experience the festival through the eyes of this year’s filmmakers, follow my Sundance filmmaker class of 2016 Twitter list.

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Filed under Documentary, Film, Film Festivals, Recommendations, Sundance

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