Cleveland International Film Festival } March 22 – April 1, 2023 } Playhouse Square

Landfill Harmonic

Year: 2015
Run Time: 84 minutes

Landfill Harmonic
Landfill Harmonic
Landfill Harmonic

The people of Catuera, Paraguay are surrounded by trash. The small town of 2,500 includes a dump that recieves 1,500 tons of solid waste a day; the biggest in South America. The residents rely on it for income, collecting and selling items that can be recycled. Some of the most dangerous and unsanitary tasks are performed by children. LANDFILL HARMONIC documents the unique story of Favio Chavez, an ecological technician who started teaching free music lessons to the kids living there. As the classes filled up, he discovered there weren’t enough instruments. He collaborated with a garbage picker whose passion for woodworking led to a creative solution. They transformed old scraps of metal, wood, and random junk into cellos, violins, and drums. Dubbed the Recycled Orchestra, the kids gained global attention for their unconventional tools. Their noteriety helped to inform the world of the unpleasant conditions back home. Music also gave them opportunites they never imagined, spreading hope through their community. This beautiful film shines a spotlight on a town no longer defined by the dump in their backyard, but rather by their ingenuity and inspiring talent. (In Spanish with subtitles) –E.F.

CIFF40 Screenings

Sunday, April 03, 2016 at 12:00 PM

Monday, April 04, 2016 at 6:20 PM

Cinema en EspaƱol

Music Movies Competition

Brad Allgood, Graham Townsley

Brad Allgood is an award-winning documentary filmmaker from Los Angeles, California. In addition to film, he's worked in television for Discovery Channel, National Geographic, and PBS. Graham Townsley is an Emmy-award winning filmmaker and anthropologist from Washington, D.C. He runs a production company called Shining Red, which he founded in 2008.


Juliana Penaranda-Loftus

Neil Barrett, Timothy Fabrizio, Brad Allgood

Brad Allgood

Film Contact

This film is presented with the generous support of TED and SUSAN.

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