Screened as part of NZIFF 2016

When Two Worlds Collide 2016

Directed by Heidi Brandenburg Sierralta, Mathew Orzel Risk

When mining and clear-cutting contracts threatened their native lands, indigenous Peruvians took to the streets. This film documents their years of struggle against the ruthless tactics of a furiously antagonistic government.

Peru In Spanish with English subtitles
100 minutes DCP



Taira Akbar


Carla Guitierrez


H. Scott Salinas


Alberto Pizango
Felipe Virgillio Bazan Caballero
Mercedes Cabanillas
Alan Garcia
Yehude Simon


Hot Docs 2016


Special Jury Award (World Documentary)
Sundance Film Festival 2016

With up-close access to indigenous Peruvian activist Alberto Pizango, and a damning assemblage of news reports, this documentary provides a gripping account of years of struggle. Filmmakers Heidi Brandenburg Sierralta and Mathew Orzel lay out the overwhelming imbalance in power between those acting to conserve their natural environment and those determined to monetise it. They also draw on interviews with several of Pizango’s antagonists, notably a former Lima police officer who has come round to Pizango’s side. Third-party footage of a bloody skirmish between police and protesters provides pivotal evidence, as it records an incident that then-president Alan Garcia’s government spun into a public relations coup against the protesters. Police who died were granted massive state funerals, while Pizango was demonised as a murderer, conspiring to hold the nation to ransom. Public anger pulled back the government from some of the flagrant constitutional abuses Pizango had protested against, but he remained a wanted man, forced into exile. In the film’s present we see him return stoically to Peru to face the music, and hopefully resume the struggle.

Screening With This Feature

Water for Gold 2016



Sandani Wijetunge

World Premiere from Loading Docs and Candlelit Pictures  
An animated conversation with leading legal professor Jane Kelsey on how international trade law is leading us to trade water for gold. Screening with When Two Worlds Collide.