Announcing The Whickers’ 2023 Conecta Bursary Winner

We are thrilled to announce that this year’s recipient of our £3,000 bursary award for emerging talent in Latin America is director Pedro Nishi for his film ‘Green Kids.’

As a Japanese immigrant raised in Brazil Pedro Nishi, draws powerfully on his own experience of navigating between two worlds without really belonging to either. His creative portrayal of Brazilians grappling with their own complexities of identity and belonging in Japan deeply impressed. By day, they endure menial jobs and face ostracism for their differences. However, by night, they transform into ‘The Green Kids,‘ exotic creatures pouring their insight and anger into highly original fusion rap. Through this, several hope that the music will become their passport ‘home.’ Whether or not they ever make it back to Brazil is immaterial; The Whickers simply want to be part of the journey.

We were impressed with the raw talent, inquisitiveness, and motivation evidenced by this emerging director and eagerly anticipate the creation of a truly memorable first feature film from Pedro Nishi.

Pedro was selected from a remarkable shortlist of director pitches from across Latin America. He was one of three finalists. His co-finalists are Jacqueline Aimacaña and Paola Campos.

Aimacaña, an indigenous filmmaker from Ecaudor, is developing a fascinating and charmingly visualised film called ‘Turn off the Radio. This is an important and intriguing story of the Kichwa resistance focusing on a popular radio station run by the director’s parents in the early 1990s, amidst fierce government opposition. With the discovery of a priceless hoard of 5,000 cassette audio recordings of her father, Aimacaña aims to bring this little known story to light and give a fresh voice to her people, using modern, digital media.

En el Camino a Casa: On the Way Home,’ is being directed by Paola Campos from Chile. It is an authored documentary where the director returns to the Mapuche region she grew up in to confront difficult truths and question her family’s role in the growing conflict and violence. The film initiates an important and honest dialogue to better understand the politics of indigenous people and their land rights in Chile and beyond. This is a story that resonates around the world. 

Conecta was established by the Chilean Corporation of Documentary (CCDoc). It is an international industry meeting that brings together Latin American producers with distributors, exhibitors, sales agents, programmers, channel representatives, festivals, markets and funds, domestic and foreign. Conecta looks to strengthen ties between the documentary communities in Latin America and promote Chile as a window of opportunity for audio-visual production in the continent.

The Whickers/Conecta Emerging Director’s Bursary’ is available to emerging LatAm filmmakers taking part in Conecta’s annual industry meeting in Santiago. A special pitch for first time Directors to meet with Industry decision makers will be convened for the market for the first time. The Whickers is also committed to supporting talented directors with compelling stories that resonate globally, recognizing that even the smallest amount of seed funding at the right time and place can make a significant difference to a project. 

Jane Mote, Consultant Editor, The Whickers says “The projects are stronger and stronger every year and we are going to have a hard choice to make on the Whickers pitch” 

Find out more about the bursary scheme HERE.