Ethnographic Film Training

in the Bri Bri Indigenous Reserve

Talamanca, Costa Rica

October 14 - 28th, 2012



Live within an indigenous community in Costa Rica’s lush Talamanca reserve while learning how make documentary films!  We are going on the ultimate archeological adventure deep into the heart of the rainforest to the home of the Bri Bri indigenous people.  Nestled in the Talamanca mountain range, the ancient home of the Bri Bri was destroyed by tombraiders in the 1970‘s when they ransacked the Bri Bri tombs and temples. Now the community wants to restore this ancient burial ground and return honor their ancestors.  This October we invite you to join the mission to rebuild the cosmological birthplace of the Bri Bri indigenous community.  We will make a film about this unprecedented effort to bring an international team of volunteers to rebuild an ancient cultural emblem in Costa Rica. The site is a 4 hour trek deep into the jungle of the Talamanca mountains. We will spend a week preparing our for our voyage and 5 days in the Bri Bri community.  We will explore a completely different way of life and engage in an exciting conversation about the best way to represent these experiences cinematically.  We will open up new perspectives and challenge our understanding of the world as we learn to listen, and engage in a cross cultural creative experiment.  Each student will participate in creating a short film about our experience using production techniques that maximize cinematic quality in a low budget scenario while drawing on their cultural immersion in the remote Bri Bri Indigenous reserve in Talamanca, Costa Rica.

Annika Beaulieu Producer/Camera/Editor/Musician

BA Art History, University of California Santa Barbara

MA International Affairs, The New School GPIA

Annika Beaulieu is a filmmaker and activist who has been working all over the world in media production and community development. She has worked as a research associate in economic policy in Bangladesh, women’s rights in South Africa, and environmental security in New York.  Annika began her filmmaking career in Germany at Oval Filmmacher producing TV documentaries for ARTE. She assisted editing Oscar Nominated Darfur Now (2007) and worked on the Sundance Film Fund feature Good Fortune (2010). In 2007 she met Renzo Zanelli while working on the Black Boot Beach production, Son of Tango Kid (2011) in Argentina.  There they started experimenting with cooperative filmmaking models and decided to start using the techniques to explore social and environmental imperatives in film, thus forming Selva RIca.

Renzo Zanelli Producer/Director/Camera/Editor/Musician

BA Cinema Studies, University of Chicago

A native of Peru and the US, Renzo Zanelli has worked for nearly 10 years as a professional director of photography, editor, director and producer.  Renzo has produced and directed a number of award winning films including, Pamina: Hysteria and Mozart’s Magic Flute (2005) and El Perro del Hortelano (2010).  In 2006 Renzo joined the cooperative filmmaking company Black Boot Beach, and produced The Orange Thief (2006) in Sicily winning Best in Show at the Woodstock Film Festival, and The Son of Tango Kid in Argentina (2011).  In 2007 Renzo joined forces with Annika Beaulieu to found the Selva Rica Project. Renzo works to create films that share a positive message with humanity about our future and past.  A true romantic, Renzo’s work captures the deep beauty present in nature, music, and the various faces of our planet.


Who Can Apply?

Anyone sincerely interested in filmmaking and fun! Professional experience is helpful for admission, but is not essential. However, spaces are limited, so apply now!

Selva Rica is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination and equal opportunity for all persons regardless of race, sex, color, religion, creed, national origin or ancestry, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and disability.

How to Apply

Send the following materials via email to no later than September 15th, 2012

Copy of your professional resume (PDF)

Work samples: Any link to a video of your work or an Mp3 with recorded performances.  Supporting photos are also helpful.

A short statement about why you are interested in participating in the Ethnographic Film Training.

All materials should be emailed to

*All artists will be asked to have a phone, in person, or skype interview prior to being admitted to the program.


$ 2,600 USD

Above fees cover all accommodation, food, and transportation related to the activities over the course of the two week Ethnographic Film Training

Fellowships are available to offset all or part of the fee based on financial need. No one should be discouraged from applying on financial grounds.


For questions please email us at  or call at (347) 269-0669



Now Accepting Applications!

Contact us for more info on how you

can participate at


Lodging will be rustic and adventurous!  This trip is not for the faint at heart.  We will be backpacking, sleeping in tents and showering in the rivers.  Our first week of preparation will be spent at the Aiko Sustainable Farm just outside the Bri Bri indigenous reserve.  There we have shared facilities, running water, and a full kitchen.  However, once in the indigenous reserve, participants will be staying with families, camping, and roughing it.

Silvia Rivera Alfaro Dancer/Writer/Language Specialist

Silvia has been writing since childhood, especially poetry. She has taken visual art classes in Costa Rica and Romania. In addition, she has been learning about contemporary dance and performance. At the present, she is finishing her BA in Spanish philology at University of Costa Rica, where she is also member of a performance collective. She works as a Spanish professor for foreign students periodically. She is interested in environmental and social projects, cultures and languages. Until now she has lived in Costa Rica, Spain and Romania.