Tom Laffay’s Pulitzer Center-supported film, Siona: Amazon’s Defenders Under Threat, has won Best Sound Design in the ninth annual Social Impact Media Awards (SIMA 2021).
Siona: Amazon's Defenders Under Threat is a short documentary film set in the Colombian Amazon. The film follows Adiela Mera Paz, a Siona Indigenous leader, as she deactivates land mines in her ancestral territory, making it possible for her people displaced by armed conflict to return.
The land mines were planted by FARC guerrillas during the prolonged internal armed conflict against the Colombian government. The presence of the land mines has left Siona confined to a small territory where the inhabitants have difficulty hunting, fishing, and fulfilling their spiritual practices.
Adiela's story drives the film as it portrays the young Indigenous leader living on the front lines of climate change and conflict. The film combines observational scenes with Adiela's personal testimony to illuminate deep-rooted issues facing Indigenous communities who are at the forefront of protecting the Amazon.
Laffay is a filmmaker and visual journalist based in Colombia. Laffay specializes in long-term human rights documentary investigations in Latin America. Siona: Amazon's Defenders Under Threat is his first feature documentary with the Siona Indigenous nation.
For a full list of the SIMA 2021 award winners, please click here.