World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award for Best Debut Feature
In this tense and immersive tour de force, audiences are taken directly into the line of fire between powerful, opposing Peruvian leaders who will stop at nothing to keep their respective goals intact. On the one side is President Alan Garcia, who, eager to enter the world stage, begins aggressively extracting oil, minerals, and gas from untouched indigenous Amazonian land. He is quickly met with fierce opposition from indigenous leader Alberto Pizango, whose impassioned speeches against Garcia’s destructive actions prove a powerful rallying cry to throngs of his supporters. When Garcia continues to ignore their pleas, a tense war of words erupts into deadly violence.
Filmmakers Heidi Brandenburg and Mathew Orzel capture all angles of a volatile political and environmental crisis with breathtaking access and bold, unflinching camera work. From the raucous halls of justice to deep in the heart of the Amazon jungle, When Two Worlds Collide exposes a titanic clash between a president hungry for economic legitimacy and an outspoken environmentalist desperate to protect an ancient land from ruin.
Heidi Brandenburg is a passionate observer of human nature and our environment. She co-founded Yachaywasi Films to explore social and environmental issues and challenge audiences to rethink preconceptions. Her first feature-length film, When Two Worlds Collide, expands on the signature character-driven style she developed in Don Silva and Sonnemann. Brandenburg graduated with honors from the University of Wales. Born in Paraguay and raised in Peru and Germany, she now lives in Washington, DC.
Mathew Orzel is a documentary director and visual artist whose work focuses on the complexities of human relationships. He worked as a sound designer, editor, and director in short film before co-founding Yachaywasi Films with the goal of representing social-justice and environmental issues. Orzel graduated with honors in visual communication from the University of Wales. When Two Worlds Collide is his first feature-length documentary.