San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Sustainable Development Hits the Big Screen

DIRECTOR Ian Kellet calls it a mixbetween a documentary and a Mexicansoap opera, but, in fact, “Los Senderos delCambio” (Trails of Change) is an artisticcollection of interviews with a backdropplot that examines the fate of the OsaPeninsula, on the southern Pacific coast,faced with the threat of unrestricted developmentand foreign exploitation.The 30-minute film is cast entirelywith members of the community, and sofar has had three screenings in the area.“One was a large open screening forthe community and younger people, onewas for the people attending a municipalitymeeting and one was in a cantina(bar),” Kellet said. “All three were verydifferent. The excitement of having alarge group of 300 was great, but made itdifficult to use the film as a catalyst todiscuss important issues.”Kellet, a U.S. citizen, worked on theshort film for three weeks last February,along with producers David Smith andKelly Matheson, also from the UnitedStates.“We tried to address three differentissues: what locals love about the area, theenvironment and quality of life – economicallyspeaking,” said Kellet, whose earlierwork has aired on the NationalGeographic channel and the BritishBroadcasting Company (BBC).Kellet, Smith and Matheson workedtogether on another short film, “LaComunidad” (The Community) – shotover two days in February – which dealswith a similar theme but focuses on thenorthern-Caribbean coastal town ofTortuguero, famous for the droves of turtlesthat arrive each year to nest.According to producer and pilot Smith,the two films will enter the 14th CostaRican Film and Video Sampling, an annualnational film and video contest held inNovember. Smith is also trying to broadcastthe movies on national television.“What the producer wanted is communityinvolvement, to introduce concepts ina way the community feels is their own.This is their film, not mine,” Kellet said.The film team is currently working onfinding funding for new projects in CostaRica.

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