Nora de Izcue is Peru’s first woman film director and co-founder of Latin America’s most influential film school—the International School of Film and Television (EICTV) in Cuba—which changed the future of Latin American Cinema.

Nora’s third film, the participatory documentary RUNAN CAYCU (We Are People), captured the fight for social justice by Quechua-speaking indigenous farmers in the 1970s in Peru. This gritty and powerful documentary was the first to shed light on the country’s military, human rights violations through film, and was immediately banned by right-wing members of the Peruvian military during the dictatorial regime of General Velasco. Desperate to save the film, Nora ensured her original reels left Peru and showed Runan Caycu internationally and in secret.

Runan Caycu made an indelible impact on many like-minded Latin American filmmakers, journalists, writers, and poets, who, like Nora, were committed to using film as a tool for political, social, and cultural activism in the face of repression. She joined Colombian journalist and writer Gabriel García Márquez, Cuban filmmakers Julio García Espinosa and Tomás Gutiérrez Alea, Argentine filmmaker Fernando Birri, and others to create the Foundation of New Latin American Cinema, which, in 1986, founded the EICTV with the support of Fidel Castro.

Nora is now 89 years old and has made 20+ films, but Runan Caycu remains her most iconic, significant work. In the years since it was filmed, however, the original reels of Runan Caycu have been lost, and Nora’s critical role in one of Latin America’s most significant film movements left in the shadows.

Weaving together intimate conversations with Nora, rarely seen archival footage from this period, and explorations into archives across Latin America, SEARCHING FOR NORA is a riveting quest to illuminate untold histories that will inspire women to persevere in shaping their worlds.

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