Tupac Tells About Filming “Little Prince of the Andes”
A few years ago Tupac Saavedra learned of a theater program in La Paz where a teacher brought street children into his home, training them to explore their situation through theatre games that developed into skits and plays. Eventually, they built a separate theater building and brought in social workers to recruit the kids. Through the development of self exploration and analysis that theater demands of the actor and playwright, self esteem slowly develops in the children. Today graduates of the program sometimes become the teachers.
Little Prince of the Andes
It is a risky business to film La Paz’s street life, where organized crime and graft are not friendly to the inquisitive cameras. Saaverda, dressed in the familiar vest of street social workers, goes out with a team carrying a hidden camera and mike. But like his indigenous namesake, Tupac Amaru, who is famed for fighting off the Spanish conquerors, Tupac Saavedra is familiar with the risks it takes to get inside the story he wants to tell. He also understands the artistic process and the call of the muse that is working on these children as they develop their play, an adaptation based on Antoine de Saint-Exupery children’s classic “The Little Prince”. The plot is changed to suit the Andean culture and the imagination of these youths.
Saavedra just completed a courageous effort to both fund the theatre group (which had just lost its funding) and his film by mounting an Kickstarter campaign, which requires a project to either raise all the money – or get nothing. But “dare to struggle dare to win,” he reached his goal so both the theater project and the film can continue.