It was one hell of a culture shock for two members of the Kogi tribe who were at the Sheffield Doc/Fest to promote their eco film Aluna.

While I always expect to meet some weird and wonderful people at Sheffield Doc/Fest (and that’s just the producers), it was a particular treat to meet two members of the Kogi Tribe who had come all the way from the Sierra Nevada mountains in Colombia (a journey which takes three days) for the screening of documentary Aluna, which centres around the Kogi belief that the Western World is destroying the earth.

The film is directed by Alan Ereira, who made a documentary about the tribe and their belief about the harmful effects of mining and deforestation in 1990 which aired on the BBC.

Twenty years later, Ereira was summoned back by the next generation of the Kogi tribe, who asked him to make another film highlighting their fears for the state of the planet.

“They said they wanted to make a film because they can help us,” explains Ereira. “They are addressing our intellect but also addressing our hearts and emotions and feelings.”

The Kogis may not have writing or the wheel, but their teachings on the destruction of wetlands and the importance they place on rivers, have also made the scientists sit up and take note. After Sheffield, the pair are being whisked off to Rio by Professor Alex Rogers to speak at a series of sessions with other scientists.

As for the Kogi tribe members’ opinion of Sheffield and the UK? “Different” said the pair. I fear the translator may have been being polite..

To find out more about the film click here