Chiswick Film Maker to Produce Climate Change Feature

Alice Rowsome needs backing for project about healers in Bolivian Andes


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A Chiswick documentary maker has launched funding appeal to help her make a film about the impact of climate change on the indigenous people of Bolivia.

Alice Rowsome has launched a Kickstarter campaign for her feature length film called Pachamama for which she needs £8,000 to complete. She has just a week to hit her funding target.

Photo: Vance Gellert

She says the film will portray climate change with a breath of fresh air and concentrate on innovative sustainable solutions. Pachamama will be produced using primarily ultra-wide angles lenses, that will give a rare insight into an indigenous population living in the Bolivian Andes, the Kallawayas. Alice says that having been affected by climate change for nearly over a decade, the Kallawayas have found inspiring ways to deal with their changing environment.

The Kallawayas are traditional healers living in the Andes of Bolivia. They are based in the mountainous Bautista Saavedra region north of La Paz. They are members of the Mollo culture and are direct descendants of Tiwanaku culture. According to the UNESCO Safeguarding Project, the Kallawayas can even be traced back to the pre-Inca period. The indigenous community relies on hundreds of plants in order to be able to practice their traditional medicine. For example, using only plant remedies they were able to successfully treat the Malaria pandemic at the Panama Canal in the 1900s. They rely on an ancient and elaborate system of agriculture and household crafts to survive in the arid mountainous region, in which they have lived for centuries. The Kallawayas' dependence on their environment means that they are extremely sensitive to the ongoing changes in the climate. Having a completely different perspective of the environment, they revere (Pachamama) as a deity, and treat it with as much care as they would treat their close ones. Therefore, seeing their environment affected by the climate has not only affected their livelihood but their minds and spiritual beliefs.


Due to past exploitation of their traditional medicinal knowledge by pharmaceutical firms, they have been extremely wary of foreigner. Fortunately, working with established researchers, Kallawaya authorities have agreed to give Alice's crew access to their mountain villages, and share their unique interpretation of the radically changing landscape. Dr. Ka. Walter Alvarez Quispe (the head of the Kallawaya in Khanlaya) has agreed to let them film and has shown his support for their documentary by agreeing to help them "in every possible manner."

They are planning to go to Bolivia to film the documentary in July 2014 and to release the feature-length documentary Pachamama in January 2015.

Backers of the project can get involved in the process of producing the film, will receive exclusive updates and will have the opportunity to receive a free gifts, including canvas bags and their own embroidered Pachamama black cap.

February 13, 2014

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