cINeDIGENOUS: Magical Realism and the Documentary - Live Class

Director Emily Cohen IbaƱez shares the ways her documentary, Fruits of Labor, makes space for magical realism where spiritual forces live in nature and the extraordinary is entangled with the mundanity of everyday life.

May 25, 2021


Director/Producer Emily Cohen Ibañez is joined by Felipe Contreras for an engrossing conversation about her approach to documentary filmmaking, highlighting her current film on the festival circuit Fruits of Labor that shows the hardships of current farmworking life and the realities of child labor in Califorina, while also making space for more utopian visions that can become our reality. Her form of verite filmmaking investigates the truth-revealing capacity of the form through defamiliarizing audiences from passive modes of consuming stories and sharing the filmmaking process with the people in front of the camera's lens. In Fruits of Labor, she employs experimental elements that make space for magical realism where spiritual forces live in nature and where the extraordinary is entangled with the mundanity of everyday life.

Zoom meeting details will be emailed to ticket purchasers shortly before the scheduled event.

Presented with live Spanish interpretation.



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Tuesday, May 25, 2021
6:30 PM - 8:00 PM PT
Presented via Zoom Webinar. In English with optional live Spanish interpretation.
$25 Sustainer | $15 Regular | $10 Reduced / SIFF Member
Registration fees are offered at a sliding scale.

Registrants are not required to have watched any media in advance of the class. We will present film content within the class time.

The cINeDIGENOUS class series focuses on global Indigenous filmmakers and their influences within cinematic culture. Centering Indigenous creatives and media makers amplifies voices and perspectives that are essential to our global wellbeing. cINeDIGENOUS is curated and presented in partnership with Nia Tero.

Emily Cohen Ibañez is a Latinx filmmaker with Colombian and Syrian Jewish heritage. She earned her doctorate in Anthropology (2011) with a certificate in Culture and Media at New York University. Her film work pairs lyricism with social activism, advocating for labor, environmental, and health justice. Her directorial feature documentary debut, Fruits of Labor had its World Premiere at SXSW 2021. Emily was a Fulbright Scholar in 2007-2008 based in Colombia, South America; she screened her film Bodies at War in 22 rural Colombian municipalities affected by landmines in partnership with the Colombian Campaign Against Landmines. Emily regularly makes commissioned short films for venues like The Guardian, The Intercept, and Independent Lens. She also contributes cinematography to independent films including Bronx Obama (2014) directed by Ryan Murdock which won a “Best in Fest” award at AFI Docs.