Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Bozeman Filmmaker to Screen Documentary at Big Sky Documentary Film Festival

BOZEMAN, MT, February 9, 2010 - Jason Burlage, a Bozeman local and MSU graduate, will screen his documentary film, Mi Chacra (My Land) at the upcoming Big Sky Documentary Film Festival on February 19th at 5:30pm at the historic Wilma Theater in downtown Missoula. The screening will be the film's Montana premiere. Burlage's film is among 46 feature documentaries that will show at the festival between February 12th and 21st.

Mi Chacra world premiered at the Denver Film Festival last November to two sold out audiences. With breathtaking views of the Peruvian Andes as a backdrop, the film tells the story of Feliciano, an indigenous Peruvian farmer who works as a porter on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in hopes of some day taking his son to live in the city. Framed by the seasons, Mi Chacra chronicles one year in Feliciano's life, from the planting season in his community to the harvest, and through a season of work on the Inca Trail. The film paints a vivid picture of this man's world, of the conflict between his love of the land and the desire to see his son living what he sees as a better life in the city.

Burlage grew up in southeast Idaho, and moved to Bozeman in 1992 to study film in the Media and Theatre Arts program at Montana State University. He originally went to Peru as staff and then director for a program that conducted community service projects in small villages in the Sacred Valley. It was during one trip that a Peruvian friend told him about the situation of the porters on the Inca Trail and the disappearing culture of the indigenous people. Many porters are subsistence farmers who leave their communities to work on the trail and have difficulty adapting to the outside world. Burlage was struck by this story and knew there was a film to be made. He spent of a total of five months filming Feliciano and his family.

"The depth of the experience," he says, "would be impossible to convey. I truly hope the film does justice to the complexity of the place and the people it portrays. There is great beauty, strength, sadness, and love in Feliciano's story and in the world he inhabits."

"This documentary takes you into the real life of Feliciano, his family, his land, his terrible doubts, and his dreams. No stereotypes, just life, beautiful and cruel at the same time. I love the honesty of Mi Chacra and was touched by the patient and beautiful approach to this Peruvian reality," said Roberto Forns-Broggi, a native of Peru and Spanish professor at Metro State College in Denver who introduced the film at the Denver Film Festival.

Burlage plans to host a screening of the film in Bozeman sometime this Spring. Mi Chacra is his first feature documentary. For more information, contact Jason Burlage at jason@michacrafilm.com or go to the film's website www.michacrafilm.com or Facebook page.

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