A free screening of a new documentary film about the challenges of conservation efforts in the Amazon is planned at the Sherman Green gazebo on Saturday night, Sept. 21.
Shot last year in the jungles of Peru, "La Selva Tranquila" ("The Peaceful Jungle") was produced by fledgling Fairfield filmmaker P.J. Hoffman and two partners.
The screening is scheduled from 8 to 9 p.m. on the green at Post and Reef roads, and the producers urged attendees to bring lawn chairs and blankets.
Through three interwoven stories, the film shows how rainforest natives' efforts to survive -- and the effects of big money -- can clash with the ideals of conservation, Hoffman said.
Hoffman, 23, and partners Christian Chapman and Cody Troyer shot the film between September and December 2012 in the Peruvian Amazon. The film debuted this summer for a gathering of the filmmakers' families and friends, but the screening at the gazebo will be the first public showing, Hoffman said.
Hoffman said the 52-minute film tells a story through the eyes of Amazon inhabitants, many of whom must cut, capture and sell anything they can to survive.
The camera follows Katu, a hunter-turned-conservationist who purchased an immense plot of unspoiled rain forest. His vision is to maintain it in its natural state as a private preserve, build a wildlife lodge and bring tourists to enjoy the natural beauty, the producers said in a release. But Katu is surrounded by hunters and lumberjacks eager for immediate profit.
Film viewers will meet Chepa, a woman who captures and illegally sells live animals to support the three generations of her family who live in city slums of Iquitos. Every morning, according to the release, she and her children race against the sunrise to claim a small table in the marketplace, where they sell baby monkeys, sloths and turtles, along with soap and dried fish. Chepa constantly scans the crowds for police, and her children arrange monkey cages instead of attending school.
The film's third segment examines the shrinking jungle village of Mishana. The Peruvian government has taken control of the land surrounding the village to enforce conservation measures, Hoffman said. But villagers, unable to take some of the forest's bounty to market, are migrating to cities in search of work.
The filmmakers have submitted "La Selva Tranquila" to several film festivals, Hoffman said.
Hoffman and Chapman have launched their own production company, Resonator Films, and hope to make commercials, music videos, documentaries and narratives, Hoffman said.