Screened as part of NZIFF 2015

Landfill Harmonic 2015

Directed by Brad Allgood, Graham Townsley For All Ages

A children’s orchestra playing instruments fashioned from trash brings their impoverished home in Paraguay to the attention of the world in this SXSW Audience Award-winning doco.

Jul 17

Event Cinemas Queen Street

Jul 19

Event Cinemas Queen Street

USA In Spanish with English subtitles
84 minutes DCP

Co-director, Producer

Juliana Penaranda-Loftus


Neil Barrett
Timothy Fabrizio
Brad Allgood


Brad Allgood


Michael A. Levine


The Recycled Orchestra of Cateura


SXSW 2015


Audience Award (24 Beats Per Second), SXSW Film Festival 2015

The ingenuity of a music teacher provides the means for children from a poor South American community to reach out to the world at large in this uplifting documentary. Their home is one of the grimiest locations in South America – an enormous landfill sprawling across the flood plains of Paraguay. Scavenging materials from the dump, a rubbish picker and a music teacher begin to improvise instruments. Used X-ray printouts serve as the skins of a drum set. A battered aluminium salad bowl and strings tuned with table forks make a violin. Bottle caps work perfectly as keys for a saxophone. Soon they enlist children from local families to join a small orchestra.

Filmed over five years, Landfill Harmonic follows their progress as they tentatively begin to perform orchestral classics in public. Boosted by a viral video and a growing fan base which includes their heroes-turned-sponsors, Megadeth, the Recycled Orchestra of Cateura travels the world. When floods engulf their ramshackle housing, can the visibility these children have achieved through music make a difference for their families back home?