«A FILM SHAPED LIKE A SHAMANIC JOURNEY STEEPED IN A PSYCHOACTIVE BREW EXPLORING FEAR AND DESTINY IN THE JUNGLE OF THE MIND Sales Contact: Press ...»
ICAROS: A VISION
(Acquisition Title / The Film Collaborative)
Section: International Narrative Competition
Directed by Leonor Caraballo and Matteo Norzi
Starring: Ana Cecilia Stieglitz, Filippo Timi, Arturo Izquierdo
A FILM SHAPED LIKE A SHAMANIC JOURNEY STEEPED IN A
PSYCHOACTIVE BREW EXPLORING FEAR AND DESTINY IN
THE JUNGLE OF THE MIND
Sales Contact: Press Contact:
THE FILM COLLABORATIVE BRIGADEOrly Ravid Nathaniel Baruch Orly@thefilmcollaborative.org Nathaniel@Brigademarketing.com
LOGLINEHer medical options exhausted, an American woman travels to the Amazon in search of a miracle. Thanks to a young ayahuasca shaman who is losing his eyesight, she learns instead to confront her ‘susto’: the disease of fear.
SYNOPSISLooking for a miracle, Angelina lands at a healing center in the Peruvian Amazon where shamans minister to a group of foreign psychonauts seeking transcendence, companionship, and the secrets of life and death.
Her perceptions altered by the ancient psychedelic plant known as ayahuasca, she bonds with Arturo, a young indigenous shaman who is losing his eyesight. In their hallucinogenic journeys together they attain a different sense of their destinies. She learns to accept her fears while Arturo, in turn, realizes that he will be able to see in the dark and sing his ceremonial healing songs, the icaros.
DIRECTOR’S STATEMENTICAROS: A VISION is a story about fear and the release from fear – the fear of illness and of death, but also the fear of life and living. It’s about the possibility of living through one’s fear – which is what the Amazonian plant ayahuasca is good at getting you to do. Centered on the nightly ceremonies that are the main feature of shamanic retreats, Icaros revels in darkness, replicating a shamanic journey.
The film mixes in elements of reality. Set in an actual ayahuasca retreat in Peru, it features real shamans and indigenous non-actors from the Shipibo community, mixed in with western actors. Aspects of the film are based on co-director Leonor Caraballo’s true experiences. She had metastatic breast cancer when the shoot began. Although she dedicated herself to the project until the very end, sadly she died before she could see the film finished.
The film is also driven by the conviction that acknowledging the power of plants is the best way to change the jeopardized future of the Amazon – itself like a dying patient. The exploitation of Shipibo lands and communities by oil and timber companies continues. Over the next 20 years, massive tracts will be destroyed to produce only enough oil to sate U.S. demand for, at the most, two weeks. The men and women who have the knowledge of healing plants are finding few in the younger generation who will cultivate their practices. Thus part of the film’s goal is to bring attention to the work, life and knowledge of the Shipibo Conibo people.
ICAROS: A VISION is a filmic tapestry about the meeting of cultures, a West in search of its lost soul and the indigenous Shipibo adapting their expansive practices and unique view of the universe.
Finally, the story takes place in Iquitos, the same town where Herzog’s Fitzcarraldo was shot more than 30 years ago, and the hotel Casa Fitzcarraldo hosts a key scene in the film.
CREW BIOS Leonor Caraballo – Writer / Director Leonor worked as a photographer and video artist between Buenos Aires and New York. She won important fellowships and grants, including the Latin American Guggenheim Fellowship, New York Foundation for the Arts grant and an Eyebeam Art and Technology Center residency. Her experimental videos have been shown internationally in venues such as the Tate Modern, PS1/MOMA, Artists Space, and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. ‘Icaros: a vision’ is her first feature film. Her interest in the Amazon started when she was introduced to shamanism and plant medicine as practiced by the Shipibo-Conibo communities in Peru. She traveled to the Amazon and up and down the Ucayali river, experimenting with her life, death and artistic practice. Leonor died on Saturday January 24th, 2015 before completing the film.
Matteo Norzi – Writer / Director Matteo is a visual artist, from Uruguay and Italy, living in NYC. His explorative artistic practice took him through several extensive journeys along six continents.
His art has been supported by important institutions, including Art in General, NY;
Headlands Center for the Arts, CA; Artists Space, NY; Spinola-Banna Foundation for the Arts, Italy. As part of the collaborative duo Isola&Norzi he has exhibited internationally at venues such as GAM, Turin; NMNM, Monaco; David Roberts Art Foundation, London; Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa, Venice; Museion, Bozen. ‘Icaros: a vision’ marks his debut as a feature film writer and director. He brings with him years of personal experience and extensive research on ShipiboConibo history, culture and knowledge.
Abou Farman – Producer Abou is a producer, artist and anthropologist teaching at the New School for Social Research. He has long worked with award-winning director Amir Naderi, with a producer credit on ‘Vegas: Based on a True Story’, an official selection in competition at the Venice and Tribeca Film Festivals; and co-writer on ‘CUT!’, selected for Venice, Tribeca, Toronto and Pusan. As part of the artist duo caraballo-farman, Abou has exhibited work internationally, including at the Tate Modern, UK, PS1/MOMA, NY, and the Havana Biennial. Published widely in Canada and the US, his essays have been nominated for a National Magazine Award in Canada and twice awarded the Critics Desk Award by Canada’s national poetry magazine. He is the author of Clerks of the Passage.
Aziz Isham – Producer Aziz is a filmmaker, publisher and digital media specialist, and the co-founder of ArcadeSunshine Media, reKiosk and GoodFight Media. He has produced and developed documentary series for History, Discovery Channel, A&E, National Geographic along with several independent and feature projects. He is currently the Executive Producer of Brooklyn Independent Media, a non-profit cable and news channel focusing on stories on and about Brooklyn. His essays have been published in The Huffington Post and Digital Book World, and he has been a featured speaker at NYU, DocSummit, MediaBistro, and DC Week and was a faculty member at CUNY Publishing Institute. He lives in Brooklyn, NY.
Adella Ladjevardi – Co-Producer Adella is an independent producer and film industry professional with over 13 years of experience. Currently working at Film Independent on the inaugural Global Media Makers program, she is also producing U.G., a feature documentary by Matthew Dougherty, and Just a Dog, a short documentary by Andrea B. Scott.
Previously, Adella supported the development, production, and distribution of dozens of award-winning films as head of the Grants Program at Cinereach, a nonprofit film production company and foundation. More recently, she consulted as a screener and programmer of documentaries at the Tribeca, Rooftop and Los Angeles Film Festivals. Adella has also been a reviewer on documentary funding panels including the PBS series P.O.V, ITVS Open Call, Chicken & Egg Pictures and Catapult Film Fund and has served on the juries of the DocNYC and SilverDocs (now AFI Docs) Film Festivals. She began her career working for documentary distributor Icarus Films, before moving on to work as an Associate Producer at Zohe Films for documentary filmmaker Jennifer Fox and then as Associate Producer at Gacaca Films for documentary filmmaker Anne Aghion.
Adella is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design.
Ghasem Ebrahimian – Director of Photography Ghasem has worked with the internationally-acclaimed, award-winning art star Shirin Neshat, creating several video art films including ‘Logic of Birds’, ‘Possessed’, ‘Fervor’, ‘K’, ‘Passage’, ‘Rapture’, ‘Turbulent’. Together with other directors, he directed the photography of features and documentaries as per ‘Greater Things’ and ‘Roads to Mecca’. For the British television he worked in several episodes of ‘The South Bank Show’. In addition, he has directed his own films such as ‘Willie’ and ‘The Suitors’.
Élia Gasull Balada – Editor Èlia is an editor working in narrative, documentary and television, based in New York. Èlia edited the documentary ‘Man of the Monkey’ which was part of the 2014 IFP Documentary Labs and was also awarded the Heineken VOCES Grant from Tribeca Film Institute’s Latin American Media Arts Fund. She was also Additional Editor on the feature length documentary ‘Keith Haring and the Moving Mural’ which premiered at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, as part of the museum’s Keith Haring exhibit and she has recently edited the documentary ‘Still Dreaming’ that aired on PBS during 2015. Èlia’s television work includes ‘This is Life with Lisa Ling’, a CNN Original Series that was nominated for Best Episodic Series by the International Documentary Association Awards.
Enid Campos / Josue Menez – Production Services, Peru Enid and Josue founded Chullachaki Cine in 1998 in Lima, Peru. Josué has taken features to the world’s major festivals, has directed films for TV and worked with the likes of Stephen Frears; Enid has been on the production side of the most emblematic films of her generation; their track record together boasts some of Peru’s best films over the past decade. The company has sold its productions worldwide, including competitive markets like Spain, France, and the United States, and has show-cased its films in the most prestigious film festivals, including Venice, Cannes, Toronto and Locarno.
Sara Gunnarsdottir – 2D Animator Sara was born and raised in the capital area of Iceland, Reykjavik. She has a BFA degree in Fine Arts and received her MFA degree in Experimental Animation from California Institute of the Arts in spring 2012. Her work include the shorts ‘Sugarcube’ and ‘The Pirate of Love’ as well as animation and original artwork for the feature film ‘The Diary of a Teenage Girl.’ Sara currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.
CAST BIOS Ana Cecilia Stieglitz – Actress Ana Cecilia Stieglitz is a New York born actress raised in Mexico City. She has a Masters Degree in Communication Sciences from Pratt, NYC. Ana’s acting career took off while working closely with acting coach Susan Batson and actor-director James A Lee. She landed lead roles in several independent short films: “Memoria de Octavia” by Marly Hernandez, “Revenant” by Jeremie Lecaudey, “Wendy” by Kurt Shi, and Eric Kater’s “The Gathering Dark”. She played the lead in the true story cable TV show “Stalked” Someone’s watching: Death Spiral”, and was cast in the feature film “Welcome to New York” (official selection for Cannes, Venice and Toronto Film Festivals) directed by the aclaimed Abel Ferrara (“Bad Lieutenant”). Ana was part of the ensemble cast in “Thinly Veiled”, a feature by award winner filmmaker Adolfo Doring (“Blind Spot”) and is currently preparing for the film “Sierra Madre”, now in pre-producction. Her latest work includes Netflix´s Original Series ¨Mozart in the Jungle¨ directed by Roman Coppola starring Gael Garcia Bernal; the upcoming feature film ¨Pepito: Sin Salida¨ by Joaquin Hernandez. Ana Cecilia is a member of the alumnae at The Susan Batson Studio, has been a part of the Tres Artis Theater Group lead by scholar Stephen Michaels, The Improv. department at Argos Casa Azul, and keeps an ongoing relationship with the Film and Theater Graduate Programs at NYU and The New School. She lives with her family in New York City.
Arturo Izquierdo – Actor Arturo Izquierdo is part of the lineage of Shipibo-Conibo shamans from the Ucayali community of Nueve de Octubre. He’s one of the very few of his generation to have followed the path of the old masters, a path his father, grandfather and uncles followed as well. For several years now he has been working alongside Guillermo Arévalo at the Anaconda Cosmica healing center.
Filippo Timi – Actor Filippo Timi is an actor, director and writer born in Perugia, Italy. Winner of ‘best actor under 30’ at the 2004 UBU Awards, Filippo has been on stage as Orpheus, Danton, Perceval and Satan. In 2007, his film career took off with roles in Ferzan Ozpetek’s multipleaward winning ‘Saturn in Opposition’ and Saverio Costanzo’s ‘In Memory of Me’, for which he was nominated for a best supporting actor award by the Italian Syndicate of Film Journalists. After taking the lead roles in Wilma Labate’s ‘Signorina Effe’ and Giuliano Montaldo’s ‘The Demons of St.Petersburg’, he won a Best Actor award for his leading role in Academy Award winner director Gabriele Salvatores‘s ‘As God Commands’. In 2009, Timi’s films were in competition in major festivals: at Cannes with ‘Vincere’ by Marco Bellocchio, where he played the young Mussolini, and at the Venice International Film Festival with the debut of Giuseppe Capotondi, ‘La Doppia Ora’, winner of the CoppaVolpi.
Guillermo Arévalo – Actor Guillermo Arévalo is a world-renowned Shipibo shaman and curandero of the Peruvian Amazon. His Shipibo name is Kestenbetsa, which means “echo of the universe”. Arévalo began to study shamanism at the age of 12. At the age of 24, Guillermo decided to renounce his job as a recovery room nurse and enter the field of shamanism. He retreated deep into the forest without clothing or food, armed only with a knife, a bow and four arrows and spent the next 12 months in complete isolation. Since then, he has dedicated his life to healing and the transmission of knowledge. He has founded several healing centers, one of which will serve as the main location of Icaros. He currently teaches and gives ceremonies around the world while back home Guillermo is dedicated to assisting his community and helped create the first Shipibo government. Guillermo has appeared in numerous
documentaries and films (including ‘D’autres mondes’, ‘Vine of the Soul: