An Amazonian tribe goes behind the camera with the film “The Territory”

Although they appear in the film in traditional dress, the Uru-eu-wau-wau and their young chief Bitate – at the heart of the documentary – do not hesitate to seize modern technologies to fight back.

When the Covid arrived, Bitate took the courageous decision to say: ok, there will be more journalists on our territory, more directors, more Alex, more documentary team, more nobody“, says Alex Pritz.

We had to have a conversation with him: have we finished the film? do we have everything we need?… are we starting to climb?“, he continues.

Bitate was very clear: we, we are not finished. We still have a lot of work. You didn’t finish before, why would you finish now?“, recalls the director.

And the tribal chief adds:

Just send us better cameras, send us audio and we’ll shoot and produce the ending..

Result: a “co-production model” where a filmmaker Uru-eu-wau-wau is credited as director of photography and where the tribe participated more extensively in the productionwith a share of the profits and a say in business decisions in terms of distribution.

The decision to provide equipment to the Uru-eu-wau-wau and to train them allowed to bring a “straight point of viewon the activities of the tribeincluding patrols to arrest intruders.

I had shot a few surveillance missions myself, none of which ended up in the final cut!“smiles Mr. Pritz.”Not because we wanted to change realitystation, but because it was more visceral, more immediate“.

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