Voices from the Sea

Filmmaker Q&A with Director Alvaro Farias

Is there a particular documentary film or filmmaker that had a major influence on your career?

Encounters at the End of the World by Werner Herzog


Can you describe any obstacles you encountered in making your film and/or in your distribution/exhibition efforts?

Contacts to know more people in the media industry and film industry to be interested in distribute content


What do you want audiences to take away from your film?

We have two audiences, the first ones are decision makers. The idea behind them is to understand that decisions made at four walls do not work for environmental issues and for nothing really. With the general public, the idea is to inspire that the change depends of ourselves and the basic rule is to converse and understand each other. The last thing that unites both worlds, is that the whole society understand that sometimes, when we are surrounded by Islamic State, drug dealers and corrupt bussines men and politicians, we have to go back to basics and talk and see that some answers are found in ” belly button of world “.


Please list key points that should be covered in a post-screening discussion:

– Illegal fishery is a real problem for the future of life (after drugs and guns, fish traffic is the most important of the world).

– Que la sociedad de Rapa Nui es una sociedad que hace dos siglos atrás estuvo a punto de extinguirse, se comieron entre ellos, ya saben lo que es estar a punto de desaparecer por falta de recursos naturales y guerras absurda. El mundo no desaparece, desaparecemos nosotros si no tomamos acciones y logramos otra dimensión de acuerdos esenciales para convivir.

– Illegal fishery is a real problem for the future of life (after drugs and guns, fish traffic is the most important of the world).

-The Rapa Nui society is a society that was two centuries ago was about to become extinct, they ate each other, you know what it’s like to disappear for lack of natural resources and absurd wars. The world does not disappear, we will disappear if we do not take actions. We have to move to another dimension and make agreements essential to live.


Please provide information on any recent developments regarding the issue or subjects of the film. How have things changed or not changed?

The process of the documentary was a real success. For over a year we did audiovisual track of what was happening on the island about the care of the sea. Over the months and knowing the internal culture of the island, we realized that the social organization to this cause (create a marine reserve) it was unprecedented. What we did then, was go creating video capsules very short that we gave to the new shows Chile. There appeared the debate, the reality and the discussion about the issue were on the island (five hours in a plane from continent) . Then, the central government saw it on TV and realized that the people of Rapa Nui was really organized. So when they asked for a meeting with the president or a minister, the authorities already knew that this was a real and representative of the island cause.

This helped when we had parallel documentary ready, the government decided to formally endorse the idea of the marine park and create legal institutions for this is be generated.

Once we did the premiere, where Richard Branson attend, John Kerry and some Ministers of Chile, the Chilean media interest was generated by talk that this was a real and exciting story. Moreover, as we knew we needed more energy we invite an Chilean artist with the most international prestige and social struggle for the soundtrack, Ana Tijoux and we also invite Sylvia Earle to be our narrator as an authority on conservation issues globally. And above all this, the public, the media and the authorities had to add to the wave that they had in front. After the formal opening with these authorities within the framework of the World Summit of the oceans, we knew that Pearl Jam would be in Chile for a show in the biggest stadium Chile. So we sent the film to see him and through our contacts. They saw and loaned us their screens to show the film to more than 50,000 people in prime time 45 minutes before show. It was beautiful.

What has now happened with the reserve is that the government has already given the green light for the reserve to exists, now is defining the “how” and in March will start a process where the Rapa Nui reservation will decide how and what will happen and what they need. There is a number of meetings with the community to find that formula. Alongside the Rapa Nui have been worldwide interest in this story and decided to create his first non profit organization out of Rapa Nui (based in Washington DC) to manage advice and resources globally, like a cultural embassy.


What opportunities are available for those interested in getting further involved?

They can be involved from July through the work that will generate the cultural embassy in Washington. You can visit the island and discover how wonderful it is, for sure hands are needed in Rapa Nui for everything you do. We can be a bridge.


Please provide any additional resources (websites, links to additional videos, forms, articles, etc.):

We have tons of links about our work

Ana Tijoux – Paraíso Infinito, canción principal

Ana Tijoux behind the scenes




What motivated you to make this film?

I was inspired by the unprecedented community organization established in Easter Island for the care of the sea and how this people located in the “Belly Button” of the world could inspire the rest of the world.


Please tell us about any special styles or techniques that you used during the production of your film to help tell your story.

The technique in this documentary was least, we focus more on the challenge of connecting with the community and to establish the necessary relationships to make the people share their experience


Please share a personal story about your experience making this film.

When Chile soccer team played the FINAL of Copa America, all the town made a huge barbecue with HUGE lobsters and fish to see the match together… was incredible and Chile won….


Please tell us what camera(s) you shot with primarily – and any other special equipment that you used and why you used it.

FS700R Camera – Sony with Cannon Lenses – Red Line and a Drone


How did your story evolve from day one, to the very last day in post? Is your story what you thought it would be?

Everything was changing, we lived new experiences with the team that gave us a twist to our expectations and it was a great learning experience for engaging with communities


Please describe the most rewarding experience you had while making this film.

While we’re shooting a rapa nui man began throwing stones at our drone because he didn’t know what it was.


What advice can you give to other impact filmmakers?

Respect to the communities you are working with and learn how to blend with them


What’s your favorite part about the filmmaking process and why?

My favorite part was to share with the Rapa Nui community and experience what it is to live in the “belly button” of the world


What’s the one item you always take with you when working out in the field and why? 

My mind open to new feelings, all the gear doesn’t matter



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