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Mothers of the Land (Sembradoras de Vida)

Diego Sarmiento, Alvaro Sarmiento | 2020 | Peru | 74

‘Mothers of the Land’ accompanies five women from the Andean highlands in their daily struggle to maintain a traditional and organic way of working the land. In the Andean Cosmovision, women and earth are strongly interrelated. Both, a women’s body and the earth’s soil are capable of giving and nurturing life. In the context of an ever-growing industrialisation of agriculture, the use of chemical pesticides and genetically modified seeds it is women, who, connected to earth through bounds of sisterhood, take on the role of protectors.

UK Premiere

Best Documentary – 25 Dreamspeakers Indigenous Film Festival. Canada, 2019
Alanis Obomsawin Award for Best Documentary – 20 imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival. Canada, 2019
Best Film Audience Award – 17 Latinamerika i Fokus Latin American Film Festival. Sweden, 2019
Best Documentary Audience Award on Food Cultures – 11 Tutti Nello Stesso Piatto – Cinema Food Diversity Film Festival. Italy, 2019
Best Documentary Audience Award – 6 Cine de las Alturas Film Festival. Argentina, 2020
Best Indigenous Documentary Award – 6 Documenta Caracas Film Festival. Venezuela, 2019
Best Latin American Documentary – 5 FINCA Ecological Film Festival. Argentina, 2020
SIGNIS Prize – 5 FINCA Ecological Film Festival. Argentina, 2020
Best Documentary Audience Award – 3 AricaDoc Documentary Film Festival. Chile, 2019
Best Documentary – 2 Jumara Indigenous Film Festival. Panama, 2019

Producer: Diego Sarmiento, Alvaro Sarmiento
Associate Producer: Jorge Constantino
Cinematography: Diego Sarmiento
Screenwriter: Alvaro Sarmiento, Annemarie Gunkel
Direct Sound: Marco Panatonic
Music: Horacio Camargo
Editor: Alex Cruz, Fabrico Deza, Diego Sarmiento
Colorist: Johan Carrasco
Mix Sound: Fonica Studio
Photography: Miguel Palomino
Animation: Kati Egely

Director biography

Alvaro and Diego Sarmiento are two Peruvian filmmaker brothers. ‘Green River: The Time of the Yakurunas’ their debut feature premiered at the 67 Berlin Film Festival (Forum 2017) and the Museum of Modern Art’s Doc Fortnight in New York. Diego has directed several short films, two of which screened previously at the Berlinale: ‘Earth’s Children’ (Generation 2014) and ‘Sonia’s Dream’ (Culinary Cinema 2015). Alvaro is a visual artist and screenwriter recipient of the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center Arts & Literary Arts Residency and the MacDowell Colony Fellowship.

Director statement

‘Mother’s of the Land’ takes place in the context of climate change, in which Peru is predicted to be among the three most affected countries in the world. Female farmers in this highland region struggle to adapt to extreme changes in weather and the ravages these produce, by using both traditional and modern agricultural techniques that allow them to maximise clean energy.

We devote our life to produce independent documentaries focused in the defence of human rights and environmental conservation in the Andes and the Amazon of Peru, because we believe that films have the power to change the world.

The target audience of the film are the native population of Peru and South America. We expect to make them feel proud of our indigenous heritage and influence farming communities from developing countries who are fighting poverty and inspire them to make changes in their lives.


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  • Photos from LIDF