Documentary filmmakers of “Heart of the Andes” announce that the film’s first stop in its national film tour will be at Whitman College, Jan. 30, 2014 in Walla Walla, Wash. The screening will take place in the Reid Campus Center, Ballroom B at 4:30 P.M. It will be followed by a Q&A session with the filmmaker and the head of the non-profit that commissioned the documentary.
Filmed on location in Peru, tells the remarkable story of forgotten, indigenous tribe of people living high in the Andes Mountains. Through the eyes of a small boy, viewers learn something unforgettable about the resilience of human nature, and about finding hope when it seems there is none left to find.
According to writer and director Melynda Thorpe Burt, “The film tells the story of a how an international humanitarian organization, Heart Walk Foundation, stepped in to save a destitute population from starving to death after their own Peruvian government sent them back to their mountain home to die.”
Founders Tim and Penelope Eicher (Tim is a university professor and Penelope a mental health therapist) learned of the plight of the Q’ero Tribes while traveling in Peru in 1993.
“Heart of the Andes” made its festival debut at the DOCUTAH International Film Festival in Sept. 2013. From its first public screenings, the documentary drew statewide media attention and captured interest of some significant members of the film and media industry. Significantly, producer and director Melynda Thorpe Burt signed a distribution agreement with Olive Tree Pictures of New York City, announced a national film tour and received a rave review by a renowned San Francisco film critic.
According to Pat Denson, president of Olive Tree Pictures, “This film offers a gritty, moving dialogue of the daily struggles of the indigenous Q’ero tribe,” she said. “A once proud people left behind by the sands of time, the film tells how they are courageously surfacing and reaching forth into their future with the help of the Heart Walk Foundation.”
National Public Radio Film Critic Peter Robinson of San Francisco recently published a review of the film in “San Francisco Books and Travel Magazine” about “Heart of the Andes.” Wrote Robinson, “The film raises awareness,” he said. “It is a fine example of powerful storytelling that captures the spirit of place.”
Additional screenings are scheduled to take place in cities throughout the nation including Jacksonville, Fla., Seattle, Wash., New York City, N.Y., Conway, N.H., San Francisco, Calif., San Diego, Calif., Las Vegas, Nev., and Salt Lake City, Utah.
Robinson was introduced to the film while covering the DOCUTAH Film festival for his magazine. “I hope to be with the film when it comes to San Francisco,” he said.
According to Heart Walk Foundation Co-founder Penelope Eicher, “This film builds a bridge across two continents and takes viewers truly into the heart of the Andes Mountains and into the lives of the indigenous and impoverished Q’ero people.”
For more information, call Tenney Clemons Saarelainen, the film’s representing agency, at (435) 674-2846, or follow the national film tour at heartoftheandes.org.