Yochi, a 9-year-old selectively mute Mayan boy, guards a nest of endangered Yellow-Headed Parrots in Belize's pine savannah. When his beloved older brother, Itza, returns from the city, Yochi learns that he’s in debt and has turned to poaching – setting the brothers on a collision course.
"Yochi" is a film about connection. Finding your voice. Protecting what is most sacred to you. "Yochi" puts a human face on the global poaching crisis. The film does not judge, but rather encourages dialogue about the underlying social and economic factors that fuel the illegal wildlife trade. The brother's conflict is reflective of larger conflicts at play in Belize -- between tradition and modernity, conservation and economic survival. At the heart of this story is the healing power of two brothers' love. "Yochi," a US-Belizean co-production, was filmed in western Belize with a cast made up of Belizean non-actors. The film is in four languages: Yucatec Mayan, Creole, English, and Spanish. "Yochi" has been subtitled in both English and Spanish.
-Ilana Lapid, Writer & Director
“Yochi” has been invited to over 50 film festivals, conferences, and educational screenings in the US and around the world – including the headquarters of US Fish and Wildlife Service, Oxford University, the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood, and the 2018 DC Environmental Film Festival. It has been selected for inclusion in the US Wildlife Trafficking Alliance Digital Toolkit. In 2017, it was selected by ShortsTV as one of ten films to be Oscar-qualified.
Check out Yochi's funded Post-Production Kickstarter Campaign to see a video from director, Ilana Lapid, about the process of making the film! Here is the link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/yochifilm/yoc...