Prizes awarded by the Rigoberta Menchú Tum Foundation to productions by an indigenous people or community on the theme of “identity, discrimination and intercultural dialogue”, or which respond to a need for community development in terms of speaking out, recording collective memory, preserving cultural heritage, moving towards healing, fighting for rights, popular education or economic leverage.
The Rigoberta Menchú Tum Foundation asks the winners to donate a good video copy of their prize-winning work for non-profit use by the Foundation, for dissemination and awareness-raising purposes.
We Are Guardians
by Chelsea Greene, Rob Grobman, Edivan Guajajara, USA, 2023
In the Amazon rainforest in Brazil, a kaleidoscope of characters and perspectives intersect, including those of Indigenous forest guardians, scientists and illegal loggers, to provide a fulsome portrait of the causes and harms of deforestation. The stakes are high as Marçal Guajajara, from Arariboia territory, and activist Puyr Tembé, from the Alto Rio Guamá region, lead the fight to protect their forests. Illegal resource extraction has tripled since Jair Bolsonaro took power in 2019, and widespread political and corporate corruption means it’s up to the guardians to stop the invasion of loggers. Interconnected with global markets, Canadian companies are implicated in the illegal trade by an investigative journalist who tracks the export of stolen wood to US and Canadian companies. In addition to logging, illegal extractive practices including mining and ranching are having a devastating impact, not only on Indigenous sovereignty but also on global climate stability. Grand bird’s-eye cinematography captures the vast river and diverse landscape of the state of Amazonas, a backdrop that echoes the increasingly complex and critical situation. (2023 Hot Docs)
We Are Guardians wins the Rigoberta-Menchú Grand Prize.