Lungs of the Earth

A hybrid exploration of movement, sound, and film capturing the social-political inferno and environmental crisis consuming the Amazon region of Brazil and its Indigenous communities.

  • Felicitas Fischer
    Choreographer & Art Director
  • Conni McKenzie
    Film Director
  • Jaime Serra dos Santos
    Sound Design
  • Heidi Erickson
    Key Cast
  • Karmina-Emily Jaug
    Key Cast
  • Rebekah Mauney
    Key Cast
  • Isabel Ronquillo
    Key Cast
  • Kashmir Turry
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    8 minutes 22 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    April 22, 2021
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
    English, Portuguese
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography

CONNI MCKENZIE is an interdisciplinary creative professional working in the Bay Area. Over the years, she trained in a variety of dance styles and has had the opportunity to study with several companies in New York before relocating to San Francisco. It was during college that Conni first began her relationship with film to learn how to capture dance on camera. Although this still remains her passion, she has expanded into shooting and editing in a variety of genres, including portrait, travel, and dance photography, documentary film, and interdisciplinary digital arts. In addition to her projects, Conni currently teaches dance to youth at Studio 121 in the Mission District.

FELICITAS FISCHER is a dance artist, choreographer, and freelance writer based in the Bay Area. Having graduated from the University of San Francisco with a B.A in Performing Arts & Social Justice in Dance (2019), Felicitas performed and worked with local dance artists such as Simpson/Stulberg Collaborations, Dazaun Soleyn, Megan Nicely, Nicole Klaymoon, Amber Julian, Eli Nelson, Amie Dowling, and Jennifer Polyocan through USF’s Dance Ensemble. In Seattle, she has also performed in works by Nathan Blackwell, Alyza DelPan Monley, and Ariella Brown through Evoke Full Tilt Productions (2015) and participated in workshops & intensives over the years with the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, CHOPSHOP Bodies of Work, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Velocity Dance Center, and Palucca University of Dance in Dresden, Germany. In addition to her dance practice, Felicitas works for a Seattle-based education non-profit, contributes annually to the online dance journal Stance on Dance, and is the founder of Artists for Justice, an artistic collective dedicated to supporting diverse emerging artists and local social-justice initiatives.

JAIME SERRA DOS SANTOS is a music producer, performer, sound designer & audio engineer who works in the multi-disciplinary realms of sound & music. Born in Brasília, Brazil, he came to the Bay Area in 2015 to pursue a degree in Performing Arts & Social Justice as well as a life as an artist in California. His artist persona, "saint hills" can be described as an artist who creates worlds through music because he is an alien in his own planet. His original music embodies the unique experience of belonging everywhere and nowhere at the same time. Also known as Jaime Jobim, this guy is on a mission to inspire people around the world to be yourself, work hard, and do what you love in life. He has worked as a performer, DJ & audio technician in multiple performing arts spaces across the Bay Area, and now runs a small online music production business that provides products & services for music producers & independent artists, and releases original music consistently.

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Director Statement

Lungs of the Earth is a hybrid exploration of movement, sound, and cinematic storytelling that brings awareness to the social-political inferno and environmental crisis consuming the Amazon region of Brazil and its Indigenous communities. Captured through the lens of Nature’s perspective, this piece explores Brazil’s hottest political and environmental war zone fueled by the growing threat of forest fires and government sanctioned mass deforestation, as well as, the impact on the lives, culture, and homes of thousands of Indigenous peoples that inhabit the land. As we ignorantly continue to industrialize, exploit, and commodify our people and our planet to an unsustainable end, Lungs of the Earth calls for attention and action - to rehumanize ourselves, revive our relationship to nature and each other, and remind ourselves of its essential existence, beauty, and lifeline before we are left facing a daunting reality ahead: a desolate, unbreathable planet.