Accepted Paper:

Not Quite Hollywood: Participatory Ethnographic Film on a Budget  

Authors:

James Waldram (University of Saskatchewan)
Demi Vrettas (University of Saskatchewan)

Paper Short Abstract:

This poster documents the participatory film-making process with a group of Q'eqchi' Maya healers in Belize, undertaken in difficult circumstances and with limited budget, as it moves from conception to "world premiere," and the criteria by which the participants evaluated the finished product.

Paper long abstract:

Documentary film is fast becoming a powerful means to communicate local issues to broader audiences of policy makers and planners. Participatory ethnographic film - where the participants and film-maker work collaboratively to tell their story - often requires significant compromises in film-making due to budgetary and logistical issues. Further, when local aesthetics are taken into consideration, the evaluation of the final product is often based on criteria quite different from that of the for-profit and cinematic-distribution types of films currently dominating ethnographic film festivals. This poster documents the film-making process with a group of Q'eqchi' Maya healers as it moves from conception to "world premiere" in a rustic, thatch-roofed bar in southern Belize. Ultimately, the main criteria of evaluation used by the healers who participated, who authorized its public distribution, was simply, did we get it right?

Panel POST-01
Poster session