Landfill Harmonic

Landfill Harmonic
Alejandra Amarilla, Juliana Penaranda-Loftus & Rodolfo Madero

  • Issue

    Youth & Education, Environment

  • Mission

    To produce a film that brings awareness on poverty, music education and recycling. To activate and inspire social change on these key issues around the world. To demonstrate that creative and simple solutions can bring powerful social transformations to the poorest communities.

  • Website

  • CVF Involvement

    See below.

Too many children in the world are born into lives with little or no hope. Our film reveals a mind-boggling, inventive effort to change that - musical instruments made from trash.

The film follows the amazing journey of a garbage picker, a music teacher and a group of children who create the most unlikely orchestra, one made entirely out of trash.

With larger than life characters, Landfill Harmonic is moving, entertaining and surprising; but it retains a serious subtext, that of poverty and garbage. A heartfelt & moving journey of how creativity can bring hope to children whose future is otherwise spiritless.

Cateura, Paraguay, is a town essentially built on top of a landfill. Garbage collectors browse the trash for sellable goods, and children are often at risk of getting involved with drugs and gangs.

A few years ago, one of the garbage pickers, Cola, an untutored genius of the slum, got together with local musician Favio Chavez to make instruments for the children of the slum. There was no money for real instruments so together they started to make instruments from trash - violins and cellos from oil drums, flutes from water pipes and spoons, guitars from packing crates. Children like the luminous Ada and her friend Tania, pick them up. With their help and the support of many in the slum, Favio slowly puts together one of the world’s most unlikely orchestras.

It’s entirely made of garbage. They call it the “Recycled Orchestra of Cateura”.

Landfill Harmonic shows how trash and recycled materials can be transformed into beautiful sounding musical instruments, but more importantly, it brings witness to the transformation of precious human beings.

We began production in 2010 and the film is currently in post-production.

Our lives were changed in making this film so far - and with your help in allowing us to complete it, we hope to change yours.

CVF Involvement: Creative Visions Foundation (CVF) provided Landfill Harmonic with production and outreach services from project inception including pro-bono legal, public relations, and strategic partnerships. CVF raised funds through individual donations and foundations and helped market the online trailer that reached more than 11 million people. Additionally, Landfill Harmonic has been featured in other CAP member newsletters, and was invited to present at TEDx San Diego through CVF.

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