A 9-year old selectively mute Mayan boy guards a nest of Yellow-Headed Parrots in Belize's pine savannah. His older brother, in debt, turns to poaching...


Yochi, an 9 year-old selectively mute Mayan boy, guards a nest of yellow headed parrot chicks on sacred land entrusted to him by his grandfather. When Yochi discovers his beloved older brother Itza is poaching in order to pay his debts, Yochi’s loyalties are put to the test. When Itza realizes he has poached Yochi’s nest, he is faced with a dangerous sacrifice.


Short (24mins) Narrative Drama | Belize, United States of America


English, Creole, Mayan, Spanish with English subtitles



Ilana Lapid
Kristi Drexler
Daniel Velazquez


Alejandro Horcasitas
Ilana Lapid


Ilana Lapid Ilana Lapid is a filmmaker, writer and educator interested in telling stories that put a human face on global conflicts. She is an Associate Professor at the Creative Media Institute at New Mexico State University. She has a BA from Yale and an MFA from the University of Southern California in Film Production. She received a Fulbright in Romania to work with visual stories of Roma children, and was an Artist in Residence at the Slifka Center at Yale. Lapid has directed multiple award-winning short films, including “Red Mesa,” “La Catrina,” and "Yochi." In 2013 and 2014, she co-taught a documentary filmmaking course in the jungle in Belize, which inspired her to write and direct "Yochi," a narrative film that deals with poaching. “Yochi” was Oscar qualified by ShortsTV in 2017, and won Best Film at the 2018 Universal Film Festival. Her team is working with multiple environmental NGOs, including Defenders of Wildlife, Environment For the Americas, and others, to use "Yochi" for conservation education. “Yochi” has been subtitled into Spanish, French, Arabic and Portuguese, and gone on screening tours in multiple countries, including Belize and Tunisia. She is one of the six founding members of Femme Frontera, a collective of women filmmakers from both sides of the US-Mexico border.


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