GUARDIANS OF THE JUNGLE 

This feature length film documentary follows the unprecedented story of Flavio Santi (Ayuy Yu), a hereditary shaman in a long lineage of healers and knowledge keepers in the Upper Amazon Basin of Ecuador. Faced with the imminent destruction of his ancestral lands by encroaching oil companies, Flavio realizes his true calling to teach the traditional ways to the children in his community, including ritual ceremonies, the use of plant medicines, dreaming practices, and the stewardship of the land. This gives rise to a broader vision of building alliances with international Indigenous networks and supportive communities to develop a self-reliant economic model based on Indigenous values.

Flavio draws on an ancestral tradition that has always existed – the Wayusa School. This wisdom has been passed down by ancestors who learned to live in harmony with the jungle and by their revered plant companions who taught them how to heal, how to dream, and how to navigate through ethereal realms.  In his own words, “The Wayusa School is not just a physical space, as the classroom is the jungle our family has lived in for millennia.”

The documentary follows Flavio’s efforts to take this knowledge beyond his community and to connect with his spiritual brothers and sisters in the North, learning from their challenges and successes, and realizing the prophecy of the Eagle and the Condor. Although Ecuador is his home, Flavio’s efforts to build a strong North-South alliance reveals the global nature of the Indigenous struggle and the high stakes for all of humanity. Flavio’s vision for uniting Indigenous leaders and elders around the fire is a vision of solidarity, hope, and a new path forward for sustaining life on this planet.

We are currently in the pre-production phase of this film and working in close collaboration with a network of Indigenous elders, scholars, and conservationists across North and South America. The film is co-directed by Ana Carrizales of Peru and Arun Fryer, a Metis filmmaker based in Vancouver, and produced by April Liu. For more information, please write to: April Liu, april.liu.arts@gmail.com .