Pangea Giving Hosts Award-Winning Documentary Filmmakers

Pangea Giving was honored to host a private gathering with Pamela Yates and Paco de Onís, creators of the “Resistance Saga Trilogy” documentary on Guatemala’s struggle against genocide, impunity and discrimination on November 4, 2017 at the Century Ballroom in Seattle.

A wide-ranging conversation on issues relevant to the work of both our organizations preceded the Northwest Film Forum’s showing of the trilogy: “When the Mountains Tremble” (1983), “Granito: How to Nail a Dictator” (2011) and “500 Years”, screened this year at Sundance, the London Human Rights Watch Film Festival and the Seattle International Film Festival. The trilogy will be available on Amazon Prime starting December 1 and will air on PBS in January.

Pamela Yates (center) and Paco de Onís (far right) with some Pangea members from left: Linda Mason, Patti Kilpatrick and Audrey Shiffman at the November 4 event at Century Ballroom.

Yates and de Onís founded Skylight in 1981 as a media organization to engage a global audience through the lens of human rights. Their work in Guatemala is of special interest to Pangea Giving due to our funding of projects there focusing on human rights, gender equity, justice, and the prevention of violence against women – all themes highlighted in this powerful, insightful trilogy.

Skylight’s film process is highly collaborative: they tell the story of the Guatemalan resistancefrom the Mayan perspective, involving the community to create the narrative, and do multi-year outreach. They believe activists and filmmakers should work together on an ongoing basis via long-term partnering and share this model through their SolidariLabs workshops

Skylight’s Guatemalan work spans 35 years, from the beginning of the Civil War in the early 1980s until now, when some of the perpetrators of the violence against the Mayan population are finally facing trial. Ex-President General Efraín Rios Montt was put on trial in 2013 thanks in part to Pamela’s historic documentary films from that time. “500 Years:” is about his trial for the 1980s’ genocide against the indigenous Maya population, the current-day massive popular uprising leading to the toppling of President Otto Perez Molina, the ongoing demands for transparency in government, and the issue of femicide in Guatemala, where rates are among the highest in the world.

In this area, two of Pangea’s Guatemalan grantees, the Women’s Justice Initiative (WJI) and Asociación Generando (ASOGEN), are leaders in the fight for indigenous women’s rights and look forward to this film’s Guatemalan premier on January 24 in Quetzaltenango, January 25-26 in Guatemala City, and then in various highland cities (produced in various Mayan languages). The showings will be in the context of daylong workshops about the role of film narratives in the construction of historical memory. The extension to Guatemala of Skylight’s pilot program in Colombia to link activists and filmmakers, SolidariLabs, will be announced soon. We are hoping our grantees will apply.

Skylight has a Kickstarter campaign going on to support the rollout  “The Resistance Saga”, a traveling event designed to celebrate and stoke resistance as we face authoritarianism and demagogy in the wake of the 2016 election.

So far they have raised enough to tour 5 major US cities (including Seattle) There are still 4 days left to raise more funds and ensure The Resistance Saga reaches more communities across the U.S. The campaign ends  . on Kickstarter.

We hope to see you at the Resistance Saga Tour Event in Seattle! Stay tuned for more info.