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Photo Credits (clockwise): Felipe Contreras, Nils Cowan, Taylor Hensel, Daniel Lin. Header Image: Courtesy of Nia Tero.
Photo by the Aruac team in the Yanomami Indigenous Land while filming The Falling Sky.


The Falling Sky

By Margarita Mora

"The forest is alive. It can only die if the white people persist in destroying it. If they succeed, the rivers will disappear underground, the soil will crumble, the trees will shrivel up, and the stones will crack in the heat. The dried-up earth will become empty and silent. The xapiri spirits who come down from the mountains to play on their mirrors in the forest will escape far away. Their shaman fathers will no longer be able to call them and make them dance to protect us. They will be powerless to repel the epidemic fumes which devour us. They will no longer be able to hold back the evil beings who will turn the forest to chaos. We will die one after the other, the white people as well as us. All the shamans will finally perish. Then, if none of them survive to hold it up, the sky will fall." — Davi Kopenawa

Davi Kopenawa, a Yanomami Indigenous leader and shaman from the Brazilian Amazon, and French anthropologist Bruce Albert, worked together for 30 years before publishing The Falling Sky. This book is a first-person account of Davi Kopenawa’s life story and cosmo-ecological thought. In 2020, Aruac Filmes joined forces with Davi and Bruce to produce a film about the book.

Currently the film is in post-production stage. Mostly spoken in Yanomami, the film puts into direct debate aspects of the Indigenous and non-Indigenous world, bringing a forceful reflection on the model of widespread predation of peoples and the planet invented by those Davi calls "people of merchandise," namely the whites.

Nia Tero decided to support the production of this film due to the deep involvement of Davi Kopenawa, Hatukara Association (a Yanomami Association) and Yanomami creatives throughout the production process. We believe that the entire world needs to listen to Davi’s message.

If you are interested in learning more about this film, we at Nia Tero would be happy to connect you to the Aruac Filmes team.



Nia Tero and SIFF Present the 
Summer Film Series 

Nia Tero and SIFF are thrilled to present the first-ever cINeDIGENOUS Summer Film & Drive-In Series! The series is part of the year-round cINeDIGENOUS program launched earlier this year. Through cINeDIGENOUS, Nia Tero and SIFF strive to uplift, amplify, and celebrate Indigenous voices and stories, and make them accessible to Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Coast Salish territory and beyond. The summer film series features screenings of Indigenous-made films from around the world and all events are free and open to the public. 

Spotlighting the series this summer are two coming-of-age feature films. Tracey Deer’s festival hit Beans is the story of a 12-year-old girl during the Oka Crisis, the turbulent Indigenous uprising that tore Quebec and Canada apart for 78 tense days in the summer of 1990. Taika Waititi’s BOY is a sweet, funny, and fresh look at growing up as an 11-year-old Maori kid. Two short films will precede the screenings of BOYKapaemahu, an animated short set on Waikiki Beach, and Huia, about a ballerina who blends traditional pointe ballet with dancing channeled from her Indigenous roots. 

Photo by Felipe Contreras at the Omak Stampede cINeDIGENOUS Drive-In event on August 6, 2021.

“These personal and transformative coming-of-age films are examples of unforgettable storytelling and are powerful reminders of why community-driven stories matter and can be oh so good. Join us this month in uplifting and celebrating these powerful voices and be prepared to laugh, cry and get angry all in one sitting!” said Tracy Rector, Managing Director of Storytelling at Nia Tero. 

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Nia Tero on these incredible films as part of cINeDIGENOUS,” said Beth Barrett, SIFF Artistic Director. “The act of seeing films in community is indeed transformative, and bringing together all of our communities is so important now, and always.”  

The first weekend events took place at the Omak Stampede in Omak, Washington and screenings will continue with additional events at the Seattle Center’s Movies at the Mural and Alma Mater Tacoma on August 20 and 21. 

Friday, August 20 · Movies at the Mural at Seattle Center: BOY 
Friday, August 20 · Alma Mater Tacoma: Beans 
Saturday, August 21 · Alma Mater Tacoma: BOY + short films 

August 20: Rooted Music Video 
Mia Kami, a 23-year-old activist, singer/songwriter, and 2020 Nia Tero Storytelling Fellow from the island of Tonga, is releasing the music video for her single, Rooted. Stay tuned for updates on Mia's YouTube and Nia Tero's Vimeo
Photo by John Surendra.
Thriving Peoples. Thriving Places.
In honor of International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples on August 9, we launched the THRIVING PEOPLES. THRIVING PLACES. campaign with design lab Amplifier to celebrate and uplift global Indigenous leaders. Check out the campaign and share the artwork.
Art by Tracie Ching & Cindy Chischilly (Diné).
Watch Now: Sky Aelans Short Film
Nia Tero is proud to present the virtual premiere of the short film Sky Aelans. Created by a cohort of first-time filmmakers, Sky Aelans is a celebration of the Indigenous peoples who live in the high mountain forests of the Solomon Islands.
Photo by Daniel Kakadi.

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