Dec 9, 2018 at 7:00 pm
Roberto Guerra Award Reception: Armando Croda and Lindsey Cordero
A Conversation with Armando Croda, Lindsey Cordero, and Carlos Gutierrez
The Roberto Guerra Documentary Fund was launched in the fall of 2014 during the 5th Contemporary Peruvian Film Showcase. Originally from Peru, filmmaker Roberto Guerra came to New York as a young, aspiring filmmaker in the late 60s to meet the cinema verité pioneers. From then on he was inspired to create a number of films while living in New York and Europe. He continued to shoot and produce throughout the last year of his life. His spirit and equanimity in the face of his sudden cancer diagnosis was inspirational. He died in January 2014.
Join us for a screening of excerpts from work by Armando Croda and Lindsey Cordero, this year’s recipients of the Roberto Guerra Fund award, including an exclusive glimpse at a teaser of the film of their supported project, “El Indio Sabe.”
El Indio Sabe
Don José, a well known and respected Shaman living in Clifton, New Jersey, has come to a crossroads in his life. After living in the US for more than two decades, he’s decided it’s time to go back home to his motherland in the mountains of Puebla.
His reasons for leaving are unusual, they’re not economic nor does he have a family waiting forhim back home. One night, in a vivid dream, Don José saw, the destruction of the earth, the Totonac Goddess Shkuyúchat appeared to tell him that he must return to perform a ritual inside a sacred cave or else the earth as we know it will suffer irreparable consequences.
“El Indio Sabe (The indian knows)” is a feature documentary that follows José Juárez, a mystical healer and cultural activist, who owns a botanica in North Jersey, where he serves the immigrant community providing spiritual guidance and mystical healing rituals. He has an independent radio show where he talks about pre hispanic philosophy and how it transcends into contemporary social and political issues among the Mexican community.
Don José faces many challenges with the life he has built in the United States. Even though he has gained the trust of his followers he has enemies who claim he is a lier. He has received death threats and was almost run over in what he recounts as a murder attempt. José has come
to realize that many in his community do not value his knowledge and his work. He needs to come to terms with his life in the US before going back home to Mexico.
As Jose plans to goes back to Mexico to perform the ritual in the cave, to save the world. He also keeps in touch through social media with the younger generations of his hometown who are eager for him come back because they need a leader like José who understands the value of their culture, roots, sacred rituals and traditional medicine. But Josés arrival to his small town
in the Mountains of Puebla is not as smooth as expected. Things have changed a lot in the 20 years that he has been gone. People don’t believe in traditional medicine anymore and they question his teachings and see him as a foreigner. They are skeptical but Don José is on a journey to prove them wrong and share his knowledge.
Originally from Mexico, Armando Croda has been working in art and film in the US, Europe and Mexico for the past 15 years. He recently premiered his documentary “I’m Leaving Now (Ya me voy)” at Hot Docs 2018. He is currently editing the documentary “Out of Many, One” (2018) for Netflix by John Hoffman and Nanfu Wang. Edited the documentary “Jay Myself” (2018) on the iconic New York City photographer Jay Maisel. He edited the three channel documentary “Two Meetings and a Funeral“ (2017) by Naeem Mohaiemen. He edited the feature documentary “Samantha and her Amazing Acrocats” (2017) by Jacob Fiering. He was additional cinematographer and editor of the documentary “Havana Motor Club” (2015) by Bent-Jorgen Perlmutt, about Cuba’s top drag racers and their quest to hold the first official race since the revolution that premiered at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival. Co-director, cinematographer and editor of the tv documentary “Firmes, Mexicans in the Bronx” (2013) for Nat Geo Latino, about undocumented Immigrants who have left the gang life behind and formed a Lowrider car club on the East Coast. Armando also completed the feature film, “Victorio” (2008) as co-director and editor, which was awarded Opera Prima at the Guanajuato Film Festival, and screened in various festivals in Europe and Latin America, including Valencia, Huelva, St. Petersburg, Havana and selected for the Human Right competition in Bilbao film festival.
Lindsey Cordero is a Mexican filmmaker based in Brooklyn. Cordero’s work focuses mainly on immigration, survival and identity of undocumented Mexicans living in New York. She is director of the documentary I’M LEAVING NOW (Ya Me Voy) which is world premiering at Hot Docs April, 2018. Cordero is producer of the feature film EN EL SEPTIMO DIA (2017) written and directed by Jim McKay, which had its international at the 2017 Locarno Film Festival and will be released in theaters June, 2018. She worked as additional editor and sound mixer on the documentary feature HAVANA MOTOR CLUB (2015) directed by Bent-Jorgen Perlmutt, which premiered at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival and was acquired by Samuel Goldwyn Films. She is co-director of the TV documentary FIRMES, MEXICANS IN THE BRONX (Nat Geo Latino, 2013) about a group of Mexican undocumented immigrants who left the gang life behind and formed a Lowrider car club in the Bronx, NY. Cordero received the 2015 Princess Grace Film Honorarium for her film I’M LEAVING NOW (Ya Me Voy). She holds a Bachelor Degree in Anthropology and an MFA at from the Integrated Media Arts program at Hunter College of The City University of New York.