Arts & Entertainment

Montclair Film Festival Preview: When Two Worlds Collide - Interview with Editor Carla Gutierrez

Credits: Carla Guiterrez

MONTCLAIR, NJ - The Montclair Film Festival presents When Two Worlds Collide directed by Heidi Brandenburg and Mathew Orzel, a documentary filmed in Peru. This film was selected to compete in the World Cinema Documentary competition at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, and will air in Montclair this Saturday April 30 at 4:45 p.m. 

The documentary centers on Alberto Pizango, a local leader, who fights big business to show the magnitude of what damage big oil is doing to their people and the environment. Protesters came out as a result of Pizagno’s activism and the resulting blood shed led him to face prison time.

Heavy metals in the water resulted in cadmium and lead being highly prevalent in the population’s blood. The documentary suggests that the will to accumulate riches has trumped the value of human life in the area.

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Tap into Montclair spoke to Carla Gutierrez, editor of this documentary to ask what attracted her to this particular project. She said,  “What attracted me to the project is that it touched on an incredibly important environmental issue but through a perspective I hadn't heard much about. The film presents the point of view of indigenous communities in the Amazon and how they are reacting to environmental changes and development. Just from watching a bit of footage I could tell that the story was full of drama.”

Gutierrez said she was most attracted to the fact that, “it was a very complicated human story with no perfect heroes or villains.”

Gutierrez, who had worked on other documentaries, was approached to edit the film. She said, “I happen to had been raised in Peru. So I think my familiarity to the cultural and political tensions that their film explores made me a good match for their story.”

When asked about the editing process, she added that this project had more than 300 hours of footage. She said, “You're really creating the dramatic arch of the story as you edit. So the creative collaboration between director and editor is a very intimate and intense one.”

Gutierrez smiled with deep knowledge and pain for the suffering she witnessed, saying, “I hope people come out of the film with a deeper understanding of what is happening on the ground in the Amazon and how indigenous people are being directly affected by the changes - changes that will ultimately affect all of us.”

The Montclair Film Festival runs from April 29-May 8. For more information, visit

To purchase tickets, click here

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