About the Series
La Gente de la Tierra
La Gente de la Tierra is a documentary series of vignettes of seven different communities across Peru, with intimate accounts from these individuals about their connection with the Earth and the negative effects of climate change in their remote communities. This film series, compiled from over 30 interviews in four different languages, will bring you along our journey through the microcosm of Peru and help you reconsider your own connection with mother nature.
To promote global ecological and cultural conservation by presenting a window into the lives of individuals and communities who have a profound connection with the natural world.
La Gente de la Tierra
about the team
La Gente de la Tierra is a series filmed and directed by Mitchell Tijerina and Ben Keller through their production company Aesthetic Voyager Films. Other primary contributors include Mason Stilwell as assistant cameraman, Digital Creative Visionaries for providing additional footage and interviews, Loose Films with production assistance, and Katie Sung Lee for the animations. Principal photography was funded through a 2017 Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign, and post production is funded by a private grant from Don and Teckie Shackelford through the American Home Foundation.
Co-Director and Producer
Mitchell came up with the idea for La Gente while studying at la Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (PUCP) in Lima. He recently finished a Fulbright Scholarship working as an English Teaching Assistant at a university in Popayán, Colombia. He graduated from Denison Unvirsity with a Geosciences major and Spanish minor, and has focused on indigenous heritage and film production. Before the filming of the documentary he worked with Loose Films cinema house in Columbus, Ohio.
Co-Director and Cinematographer
Ben has been creating documentaries for over 10 years, including leading a documentary team for a film in China on a mentorship program for Left Behind children, a film in Costa Rica about a humanitarian refugee organization, and a film about water resources in Nepal. His education includes a Masters in Technology Innovation from the University of Washington, a Masters in Data science from Tsinghua University, and a BS in Physics with minors in Math, Music, and Geoscience from Denison University.
KATIE SUNG LEE
Katie Sung Lee is animating sequences for the different La Gente de la Tierra chapters, she is an art director, designer, and 2D animator based in Cincinnati, OH. There she works at Epipheo as an Art Director. Her past work includes directing and creating several short films and an award-winning music video, interning with DreamworksTV, and animating for independent filmmakers. She is a graduate from CalArt’s character animation program and also spent a semester in Paris at Gobelins.
Mason was the secondary videographer for La Gente de la Tierra. He has been a photographer for 5 years with a focus on travel photography. Most recently he has won awards in three different contests for his photos of Morocco. He began to explore filmmaking in 2017 and this was his first full-length project. He graduated from St. Olaf with a BA in Biology and Computer Science, with a concentration in Mathematical biology.
Where did the idea for the series come from?
The series was originally thought of during a conversation with a Peruvian woman about the paintings of the Earth at her restaurant in the Cusco region. She said that, "we are the people of the Earth, we are not simply on the earth, we come from the land itself." That comment stuck with us and we continued to see that attitude toward the Earth more and more as we spent time in the Andes and in the Amazon we realized that many people in Peru thought about the Earth itself very differently then most people in the cities and in Western culture - as a living being, as a mother responible for their creation and sustenance. We realized we could share this worldview, in the hope that viewers would reflect on their own relationship to the Earth.
When will La Gente be released, and how can I watch?
We are hoping for a release in early 2021 on a streaming platform. For know, please follow our social media accounts where we are posting short form content from the series.
How did you connect with these communities?
Connections with the communities arose in a number of different ways. First, the team worked with multiple nonprofits and indigenous organizations who were very gracious and willing to help collaborate for preservation of indigneous heritage. Our producer Mitchell Tijerina's connections at the PUCP university in Lima including professors and students helped to reach out to a few of the communities. Finally, some communities were found entirely be arriving we knew they lived an asking community members until we discovered individuals who coudl share the story of their people.
How did you film and edit interviews in indigenous languages?
As the film has about five different languages in it, this was easily one of the more difficult parts. During the filming and interviews in diffferent languages the team always had a guide or a local that was fluent in both Spanish and whatever other language we working with that was able to provide on the spot translations in order to facilitate the interviews and time spent with the people. In the post production process the team then had to get in contact with others that spoke the languages to help check the timing of the interviews and contextual accuracy of the translations.
What equipment did you use to film the series?
Our main camera was a Black Magic Pocket Cinema Camera with a Lumix 12-35mm lens, our B Cameras were a Pentax 5000 and a Sony A-6000. We have additional footage from a number of other contributers using various cameras such as a RED Digital Cinema Camera, a Mavic Pro 2, and other assorted drones and cameras.
How can I use content from La Gente for my classroom or educational program?
Just message us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we would be more than happy to provide a copy of each Chapter for your classroom or educational setting.
What is the future of the series?
We hope to produce more seasons of "La Gente de la Tierra" in different countries across the Americas, the next two countries would most likely be Colombia and/or Mexico. We would continue with the same theme of exploring different communities unique connections to the Earth. We are currently seeking the funding to pursue this dream.