Iwianch, the Devil Deer

An enigmatic presence haunts the depths of the Amazon rainforest, where an indigenous Achuar teenager has disappeared. During the search for the young man, his family decides to consult with a Shaman, who, immersed in trance, reveals that the young man was taken by the devil, but that he has intervened by showing him the way back to his home. While waiting for his return, secrets of the rainforest and Amazonian visions of life after death are touched, vanishing the documentary filmmaker’s concepts of reality.



(All the information of the film)


Awards winner and Honorific Mentions

59th Ann Arbor Film FestivalWinner of Tom Berman Award for Most Promising Filmmaker – Michigan, United States

4to Fincali – Festival de Cine Ambiental de CaliBest Enviromental Latin American Film – Colombia

3º Jumara Festival Internacional de Cine Indígena de PanamáBest Documentary Film -Panamá

24º Ícaro de Centroamerica – Best Documentary Film – Guatemala ​

3º FICA – Best Editing – Argentina​

23º imagineNATIVE Film FestivalClosing Film Gala Night – USA

10th POY LatamFinalist – USA

ICCA (Ecuadorian Film Institute) – Postproduction fund winner Ecuador

Bolivia Lab – Postproduction advisory prize winner Bolivia

CNCINE (Cinema Council of Ecuador) – Production fund winner Ecuador

AlterCinema Winner – Best Film – Amazonia, Brazil, 2022

KunturñawiWinner – Best Documentary Film – Ecuador, 2022

Premios ColibríWinner – Best Film in Native Lenguage – Ecuador, 2022


《Iwianch, for the most part, feels like a real time tragedy… but Cardoso, manages to make this into an eerie tale of belief and disbelief, the known and the unknown.》

Harry Jones Under the Radar, magazine, Cinema Reviews, USA / LINK

《It’s at once documentary, investigative, horror, and cultural, not to mention that it is self-reflexive about the nature of stories and story-telling via myth and via film. A very unique, compelling, and interesting documentary!》

Kathy Susca The Film Collaborative films manager, USA

《Iwianch, the Devil Deer conveys such an immense depth of meaning through the story it tells and through the stories it shares. It is appreciated how the film resists the notion of a story as needing to be complete in order to communicate and remember. It is also appreciated how the film offers deep reverence to the Achuar Shuar peoples and their knowledge of the Amazon jungle and its history.》

Amir George True/False Film Fest programmer, USA

《Totally blown away by Iwianch, it breaks the medium itself.》

Stephen Cutler Public Enemy producer, USA

《At times I had a sci-fi feeling, like tuning into an old radio transmitter that was communicating with aliens.》

Veerendra Prasad Ann Arbor Film Festival programmer, USA

《It is as if the mythical universe had been transformed to the digital technology of images, which the Amazonian culture impregnated in the “western gaze”. That the images stopped being stable and univocal and that they open up to other dimensions, but not as a way to illustrate the Achuar culture and its myths, but it is as if the camera register has mutated.》

Ernesto Flomenbaum former programmer of the Mar del Plata Film Festival, Argentina

Iwianch, the Devil Deer has the ability to transport us to a whole unique and fantastic universe. It’s a beautiful piece of work.》

Antônio Augusto Valente content programmer of Globo Play, Brazilian media

《Enigmatic, that’s how Iwianch, devil deer could be defined.》

Festival Internacional BioBioCine content programmer, Chile

《How to avoid being exotic when making a film about the Shuar and Achuar and not to fall into a common place? How to tell a story that we do not understand? A horizontal, respectful and waiting relationship is the formula to shape this exciting story full of unexpected twists on the Amazonian peoples and their territory. Thanks to a refreshing audiovisual tone and concept, a parallel narrative questions the layers of reality as we understand it in the cities.》

Festival Encuentros del Otro Cine EDOC content programmer, Ecuador

《In a style that combines documentary scenes with a certain fictionalization and quasi-psychedelic resources, Cardoso constructs the story of the community while waiting for one of its members, lost for several days, to return from the jungle, (…) confronts us with that which for a long time was a privileged subject of cinema about otherness, of ethnographic and anthropological cinema, but in subtle ways and under subjective gazes. (…) With the aim of vindicating the difference and making visible elements of the Amazonian indigenous cosmologies, where types of relationship between humans and the non-human are evidenced – beings of nature, spirits of the jungle, or beliefs in unseen. (…) Very authorial proposal about these territories that still seem distant to us and about their inhabitants that we still seem to be unaware of.》

María Fernanda Troya Doctor in Anthropology, for El Otro Cine Magazine EDOC, Ecuador

《Director José Cardoso takes himself and his skeleton crew deep into the Amazon rainforest, in a mixture of first-person documentary and surrealist trip, with distinct echoes of Werner Herzog’s psychic excavations.  During his trip, he learns that the teen-aged cousin of an Indigenous Achuar friend has gone missing. His parents believe he is dead. But a Shaman, in a plant-induced trance, says the young man is alive but in the grip of a devil deer, who has detached him from reality, taking him across the threshold between life and death. The young man is found, initially unable to speak after 17 days in the jungle, though his story, when he eventually tells it, is a remarkable one. Though the narrative, and the belief system behind it are fascinating, Cardoso pushes beyond anthropological detachment by doctoring the images to evoke visions and hallucinations.》 

Liam Lacey ImagineNative, Canada

《(…) A combination of the traditions of the original peoples of Ecuador with elements of the thriller. (…) It ingeniously mixes beliefs, culture and ancestral customs in a story that is assisted by resources such as suspense and mystery in a context marked by the exuberance of the Amazon jungle.》

Prensa Latina La Habana, Cuba / LINK

Film Festival Circuit

42. Festival Internacional del Nuevo Cine Latinoamericano – La Habana, Cuba, Marzo 2021, World Premiere, Latinoamérica en Perspectiva.

59th Ann Arbor Film Festival
Winner of Tom Berman Award for Most Promising FilmmakerMichigan, United States, March 23, 2021, USA Premiere

33. edición de Cinélatino Rencontres de Toulouse – France, March 19, 2021, European Premiere,  Découvertes Documentaires (Documentary Discoveries)

10th POY Latam – USA, 2021, Finalist

9no. BioBioCine International Film Festival – Chile, June, 2021, Venas Abiertas Selection

XX EDOC Festival Encuentros del Otro Cine – Ecuador, July, 2021, Official Selection

31th edition Festival International Présence Autochtone (Cinema showcase of Montréal International First Peoples’ Festival), Canada, August 2021, Official Selection⠀

4to Fincali – Festival de Cine Ambiental de Cali
Best Enviromental Latin American Film – Colombia August, 2021, Competition Pantalla Verde Latinoamérica

25º Festival Internacional de Cinema Florianópolis Audiovisual Mercosul – FAM 2021 – Brazil, August, 2021, DOC-FAM

13th San Francisco Latino Film Festival – USA, October, 2021, Official Selection

9th Dracula International Film Festival – Brasov, Romania, October, 2021, Official Selection

3º Amazon Caribbean International Documentary Film Festival (FIFAC) – Saint-Laurent du Maroni, French Guiana, October, 2021, Official Selection

13th Seattle Latino Film Festival – USA, October, 2021, Official Selection

23º imagineNATIVE Film Festival
Closing Film Gala Night – Canada, October, 2021, Official Selection

3º Jumara Festival Internacional de Cine Indígena de Panamá – October 2021, Panamá, Selección Oficial

16º Arica Nativa – Chile, Novemeber 2021, Official Selection «JALLALLA LARGOS»

6º Festival Internacional de Cine Contemporáneo Cámara Lúcida – Ecuador, November, 2021, Official Selection

The Momentary, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, FILM SYMPOSIUM | LIVING IN PLACE, LIVING IN STORY, Official Selection, Arkansas, USA, November 2021

13° CRASH – Mostra Internacional de Cinema Fantástico – Brasil, Noviembre 2021

2º Floripa Que Horror! International Fantastic Film Festival – Brasil, Noviembre 2021


3º Festival de Cinema de Alter do Chão – Brasil, Noviembre 2021

XXIV Ícaro Festival Internacional de Cine en Centroamérica, Guatemala, December 2021, Official Selection

III BIS 2021, Bienal Internacional de Cinema Sonoro – Brasil 2021 INTERNATIONAL PANORAMA PROGRAM

3rd Nepal Cultural International Film Festival ( 3rd NCIFF ) Kathmandu Nepal, December 2021, Nominated for Best International Documentary Film

The Virginia Dares Cinematic Arts Awards decolonizing / re-indigenizing films and media – Virginia, USA, Nov. 30th, 2021⠀

Make Art Not War Film Festival – Artbug Gallery – Los Angeles, EEUU, November 2021

28° Cinelatino Tübinguen – Germany, March 2022

7° Bremen Filmfest Bremen – Official Selection – Innovation Category – Germany, March 2022

Asia International Film Week – Beijing, China, April 2022

6° FINCA – Festival Internacional de Cine Ambiental – Competencia Largometrajes Latinoamericanos – Buenos Aires, Argentina, Junio 2022

MATA TIFF 2022 – Taiwan Indigenous Film Festival – Taiwan, June, 2022

16° Wairoa Māori Film Festival – New Zealand, June 2022

Debut22 – Klosters, Switzerland, July 2022

Kunturñawi – Ecuador, August 2022

OKO Film Festival – Ukraine – Poland – Camerimage, Turin, Poland 2022

AlterCinema – Amazonia, Brazil, 2022


(+593) 983 26 0501