New Mexico Oral History Documentary Launches Campaign To Give You A Vintage Photo

Posted January 4, 2017 by robertbrn

Shebana Coelho is a writer and director, originally from India, now living in New Mexico. Her work spans genres, from documentary to fiction, theatre to poetry.

Effective immediately, the production team of the oral history documentary, Nasario remembers the Río Puerco is launching a special Vintage Democracy Perk, a campaign incentive that honors the core of crowdfunding: “a democratic way to support the fundraising needs of your community.” (Indiegogo)

The documentary profiles celebrated folklorist Nasario García as he returns to the now abandoned villages of his youth in New Mexico’s Río Puerco valley to revive stories and ghosts in a landscape that also remembers him.

The project invites contributions of $40 by the end of the year towards the film’s editing expenses. In exchange, every contributor will receive a Special Perk, a digital vintage photo of Nasario García (and signed by him), dated from the 1940s and taken by his mother, in the village of Guadalupe in the Río Puerco. Every single $40 contributor’s name will be listed in the credits of the finished film under a general title Crowdfunded by Communities Who Care about Land and Story.

The goal is to reach 400 people by the end of the 2016, for a total of $16,000. That will bring the project almost to the $23,000 needed to edit the film for broadcast consideration by New Mexico PBS which has expressed support and interest in the film.

To contribute, visit the Indiegogo website of the film and select the Featured “Vintage Democracy” Perk

A 4 min video trailer, photos and the story of the film can also be viewed there and on the film’s website The Facebook page is @NasarioRemembers.

The Hispanic villages of the Río Puerco valley, located near Cuba NM, and southeast of Chaco Canyon, thrived between the 1900s to the 1950s as a herding and farming community. Using interviews with Dr. García, oral histories, archival photos and evocative footage of the landscape, this hour-long film recalls the stillness and vividness of a tactile past, one that the landscape and the ruins still remember. The film is directed by Shebana Coelho, who previously adapted Dr. García’s first book of oral histories into the stage play, When the Stars Trembled in Río Puerco that was performed to full house audiences at Santa Fe’s Teatro Paraguas and Albuquerque’s National Hispanic Cultural Center.

“We’ve had such a beautiful response to the launch of our Indiegogo campaign, especially to the clip of Nasario with his feet on the land, speaking his truth at the sky,” says director Coelho, “that we started thinking about how can everyone to be part of making this film possible? And so this idea came to really to celebrate the democratic roots of crowdfunding by asking many to give a little, an amount that they can bite off. In this way, everyone becomes part of this return journey to the Rio Puerco, to follow Nasario as he speaks stories to reconnect us to la tierra, historia y comunidad, land, history and community in New Mexico.”

Coelho is an award-winning director and writer whose documentaries have been broadcast on PBS, Discovery Channel, and BBC Radio, among others. (

The film will be edited by Shelene Bridge, who is also Vice-President of New Mexico Women in Film. An award-winning filmmaker and accomplished editor, Ms. Bridge says, “I’m looking forward to working on a documentary that reaches into New Mexico’s past and delves into our rich and vibrant communities.”

The fiscal sponsor for the film is New Mexico Film Foundation, whose executive director is Dirk Norris. The film is presented by the multimedia oral history project, Recuerdos Vivos New Mexico/Living Memories. For more information, please visit [email protected]

Folklorist and native New Mexican Nasario García grew up in the small village of Ojo del Padre or Guadalupe in the Rio Puerco valley, northwest of Albuquerque. Over the last few decades, he has published over 30 award-winning oral histories, children’s stories and fiction about his beloved Río Puerco valley. His memoir: Hoe Heaven and Hell: My Boyhood in rural New Mexico was awarded First Place for best autobiography at the International Latino Book Awards and “Best Book on New Mexico” at the New Mexico/Arizona Books Awards. Dr. García is the recipient of the first ever Lifetime Achievement award from the Historical Society of New Mexico. He currently lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. His website is

Shebana Coelho is a writer and director, originally from India, now living in New Mexico. Her work spans genres, from documentary to fiction, theatre to poetry. Her documentary work has been broadcast on American Public Television, National Public Radio, The Discovery Channel, and BBC Radio Four and has received a Telly award and a South Asian Journalists' Association (SAJA) Best Documentary Award. Her poems, stories and articles have appeared in domestic and international journals. She received a Fiction Fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA), and a Fulbright grant to Mongolia.

Media Contact:
Shebana Coelho
Call: 609-651-5840
Email: [email protected]

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Last Updated January 4, 2017