Synopsis: “We Still Here / Nos Tenemos” introduces the incredible youth of Comerío, Puerto Rico navigating the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, a disaster that brought an unprecedented level of devastation to an island already in economic and political crisis. In the lush mountains in the center of Puerto Rico, 24-year-old Mariangelie Ortiz leads a group of young residents who never thought they would become the leaders of their community, nonetheless find themselves traveling to Washington D.C. to protest in the halls of Congress. Follow them in this coming of age story to find their power and begin creating a sustainable future for themselves and their community.
The issues of climate change, water security, land security, and food security are inextricably linked to race, poverty and economic development. To quote Movement Generation, “To usher in a just and equitable transition towards local living economies, leadership must come from communities on the frontlines of ecological disruption. These frontline communities know that solving one problem while creating another is no solution at all. The new economies that our communities construct must take a holistic approach and foster equity, democracy, and ecological renewal.” We must, instead, create an intentional pathway – a Just Transition – towards local, living, loving economies. Transition Is Inevitable, Justice Is Not.
In Puerto Rico, we recognize this need for sustainable, ground-up solutions for and from communities hit first and worst by climate change. We Still Here offers a vibrant example of what a Just Recovery looks like for communities after an ecological disaster.
Eli Jacobs-Fantauzzi is an internationally-recognized and award-winning filmmaker. He is the founder of @fistuptv a media platform uplifting and telling stories from communities across the world who refused to be silenced.
His work has circulated through National Broadcast: Free Speech TV, Teaching Channel, and PBS. Online he has created content for remezcla, okayafrica, TIDAL, and VIBE. Spike Lee is one of the reasons Eli became a filmmaker, and in 2019 he hired Eli to work on set with him as a photographer for “She’s Gotta Have It Too.”
Eli is the co-founder of @defendpr , a multimedia project designed to document and celebrate Puerto Rican creativity, resilience, and resistance. His film @bakoso_cuba won festivals around the world and just received national broadcast on World Channel.
Eli’s newest film “We Still Here,” captures the story of young leaders in the rural town of Comerío, Puerto Rico who, in the absence of government response to Hurricane María, find their power and begin creating a sustainable future for themselves and their community.
He is currently curating his 13th Annual #FistUpFilmFestival in the Bay Area California. His dedication to his craft is deeply connected to his commitment to social justice and the belief in he transformative power of film.