In celebration of the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples, join us for a live discussion on OME, a documentary on the life of the Huaorani, and their struggles defending their ancestral lands, with director Raúl Paz Pastrana, co-producer Luminița Cuna (author of "Barefoot in the Amazon"), and moderators Vivian Hua (Northwest Film Forum) and Otilia Baraboi (ARCS, The Ethnic Heritage Council of the Pacific Northwest). 

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Filmed in the heart of the Ecuadorian Amazon in the Yasuni biosphere, “OME: Tales From a Vanishing Homeland” offers incredible access to the unique and ancient way of life of the Huaorani, one of Ecuador’s most isolated indigenous groups. OME explores the intricacies of the Huaorani way of life, highlighting their connection to land and family, while raising questions about their future survival as oil companies encroach upon Ome, their homeland. “OME” has won multiple awards and was funded by the Princess Grace Foundation-USA and the Hispanic Scholarship fund.

Running Time: 30
USA & Ecuador // Color // HD // Spanish and Waoterero with English subtitles.

Awards and Screenings:





Raúl Paz Pastrana

Raúl Paz Pastrana is a Mexican immigrant filmmaker, cinematographer, and multimedia creator. His work intersects contemporary art, political documentary, and visual ethnography to explore themes of belonging, alienation, and the concept of “home.” His films have screened at museums and festivals worldwide including at the Sheffield Doc/Fest in the U.K., The American Museum of Natural History, New York City, MASS MoCA Museum in Massachusetts, Museum of the Moving Image (MoMI), New York City, and at the Guadalajara International Film Festival (FICG) in Mexico among many more. 

Raúl’s work has received support from the Princess Grace Foundation, the Ford Foundation-Just Films, The Perspective Fund, ITVS, Catapult Film Fund, The Jerome Foundation, New York Council on the Arts, The Tribeca Film Institute, The Colorado Humanities, and the Sundance Institute among others. He is a Camargo Foundation Cassis France Artist Alumni, an IFP/Gotham Filmmaker Labs fellow, a Firelight Media Documentary Lab Fellow, and a New America National Fellow.

Luminita Cuna

She is a Cluj-Napoca native and Brooklyn resident who has been traveling extensively to the Amazon region and has been living and working with indigenous communities in the Amazon since 2006. She has been an ally to indigenous peoples for more than 15 years, supporting their efforts to uphold their human rights and to protect their territory.

Luminita is the founder of Maloca, a grassroots support organization that works with indigenous communities living in the Amazon basin. She has been fundraising and campaigning on various indigenous issues, helping indigenous communities get solar energy, incorporate technology in their territory defense and become aware of their rights and how to use them in protecting their forest.

Luminița wanted to bring awareness on the rich cultures of the Amazon indigenous peoples, as well as to unveil the fascinating world of the rainforest; this is how her book “Barefoot in the Amazon” came to life. Luminița also co-produced the documentary Ome: Tales from a Vanishing Homeland, winner of the 2017 Queens International Film Festival for best cinematography. The documentary brings forward the fight of an Amazonian community to protect their home, one of the most biodiverse area in the world.

When she is not trekking the Amazon, Luminița is an IT project manager.

Credits: Leo Carmona

Vivian Hua

Vivian Hua (華婷婷) is a writer, filmmaker, and organizer who is fascinated by synthesizing divergent schools of thought. She is the Executive Director at Northwest Film Forum, a co-founder of the civil rights film series, The Seventh Art Stand, and Editor-in-Chief of the socially-conscious long-form arts publication, REDEFINE. Much of her work unifies her interest in the metaphysical with her belief that art can positively transform the self and society.

Otilia Baraboi, Ph.D.

Before coming to Seattle in 2000 from Romania, Otilia worked as a literary journalist and published short-fiction, translations and articles. She holds university degrees in French and English literatures from Romania, Switzerland, and the US. She has a Ph.D. on the politics of translation from the University of Washington, where she taught French language and literature for 17 years, and where she is currently co-teaching a course on Romanian literature and film. In 2013, she co-founded ARCS and was President of the Board for five years before becoming ARCS’ first Executive Director. For Otilia, ARCS has been a wonderful opportunity to remain connected with the vibrant culture of her birthplace, while contributing to the artistic and cultural vitality of the Pacific Northwest. As part of her work, Otilia has been managing the Romanian Film Festival in Seattle and ARCS community-based school for Romanian heritage students, as well as more than 300 cultural and educational events over the past 9 years. Her priorities are to create sustainable, community-building programs and partnerships, as well as develop ARCS' brand identity in accordance with its mission and values. Most of all, Otilia hopes that her work will have a direct, long-lasting impact on the ways in which future generations will define, celebrate and pass on their heritage. Otilia is also the President of the Ethnic Heritage Council of the Pacific Northwest and a board member of Romanian United Fund.