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“This documentary reached my heart and my soul. It was so touching to be able to connect with Cynthia. I was also raised in Queens, NY and frequented Pio pop restaurant as well. I am of Colombian and Greek decent and began dancing at the age of three. Folkloric dancing was always my main style of dance. Folkloric dance and its music is such an important connection to my roots and culture that I felt chills watching Cynthia do it in such a profound way. Thank you Cynthia for doing this to represent us new York Latinas in a new light. You are so awesome! ”
- Joanna Cardona
“It was great! We loved your finished product with its great photography, dancing, and interesting story line.”
- Robert Schweich
“Congrats!! Your movie is on FIRE!! ”
- Cheryl Furjanic
“I was truly moved by your lovely story. It was amazingly multi-layered - and honestly and seamlessly told. These talents will have a place in the commercial world - so take the next step! ”
- Patty O'Brien
“I am grateful for Soy Andina. It's so needed for all of us to remember and nurture Andean culture. Our ancestors bless you always in your every day journey.”
- Angela Paucer
“I am convinced that Soy Andina will contribute to a better understanding and appreciation of the cultural roots of many immigrants in the USA, who often lose their face and just become a 'Latino.'”
- Mariska van Walsen, executive director, Warmayllu (Peruvian arts education NGO)
“Soy peruano y ver que Uds. estan tratando de difundir nuestra cultura tan rica, pero al igual escondida, me alegra mucho. Es hora que los peruanos seamos orgullosos de nosotros mismos y herencia y que la compartamos con todos los demas ”
- Aldo Camilloni
“There were more than 300 people at the Soy Andina event; their enthusiastic response left no doubt that the filmmaker knows his audience ”
- Julia Pimsleur, co-founder,
“The film is beautiful, as are the stars. They are so articulate, honest and joyful. The joy of celebrating in Peru is something basic and raw and delightful that we don't often see in the US. ”
- Stuart Baker
“Muy lindo...demuestra la mezcla de las diferentes culturas Peruanas; gracias por haberme transportado hacia mi país y por haber sentido su esencia viva. ”
- Enrique Daniel Salazar
“There are no films that I can think of that portray the richness and joy of Andean traditions as does Soy honest portrait of Andean culture that also captures the complex and tense relationships that extend onward to Lima and even New York”
- Ross Wehner, Moon Handbooks Peru
“An important film about the miracle of intercultural integration in a globalized age ”
- Ambassador Oswaldo de Rivero, Mission of Peru to the United Nations
“Yo vi esta peli en Nueva Jersey y me encanto el contenido. Toca el corazon de los que estamos lejos. ”
- Karla Teevin
“We loved it! It was wonderful, very touching and sweet. ”
- Heather Haugland
“BRAVO Mitch!! The film was fabulous. A fantastic night...thank you! I can't wait to tell all my friends in Seattle to go to your website and buy a copy of this movie. Having Nelida dance was a very nice addition to seeing the movie. It is obvious that you've made a lot of Peruvians proud (as well as New Yorkers, I'm sure).”
- Denice Fountaine
“I saw the documentary on PBS last night. Cynthia is mesmerizing, and the story is transformational ”
- Jeff Frant
“The dancers look ecstatic — totally in the moment and in their bodies. Beautiful! ”
- Marjorie Nass
“I love Soy Andina!!!! ”
- Gail Imel,
“I loved it! ”
- Tim Lloyd, American Folklore Society
“What a wonderful gift to the world! Projects like Soy Andina reach deep into the wellspring of indigenous culture that dissolves boundaries and connects us all.”
- Eric Crosby
“When we come to the US, it is very easy to lose the sense of village and family. We and our families often live isolated lives and forget to share with our kids the rituals, music and dances still practiced and perform in our towns. Soy Andina touches a deep yearning for that sense of belonging.”
- Neila Wyman, gesalt therapist
“Soy Andina provided a valuable educational experience! This film is truly inspirational and speaks to the calling of heritage connection and preservation, and the way in which culturally specific traditions survive. ”
- Tyese Wortham, World Arts West | SF Ethnic Dance Fest
“Hi Mitch and Cynthia - thanks for such a great event and performance, you were fantastic! ”
- Rock Wheeler, National Geographic Live!
“The film, Q& A and workshops all were excellent! I was moved the entire time. You captured the essence of Peru and its many cultural manifestations. I am certain that our teachers would benefit immensely from watching Soy Andina. ”
- Mariella Arredondo, Center for Latin American & Caribbean Studies, Indiana University
“I showed the film to my Spanish class today. They LOVED it!! A Great documentary for students. AND I used your great lesson plan. Thank you so much for enriching my students more than I could do alone!!!”
- High school Spanish teacher in Florida
“Thrilled to have seen every moment of this on WGBH. I need to go to Peru! ”
- E.Michael Harrington
“A joyous film that seeks the essence of diasporic Andean identity through the linked lives of Fulbright scholar and professional dancer Cynthia Paniagua and folklore dancer Nélida viewers insight into the expression of hybrid constructions of identity ”
- Gabriela Torres, Visual Studies Journal
“A probing and insightful film on the "immigrant" experience”
- Pegi Vail, professor of media and culture, Anthropology Dept, Colombia U.
“A great film”
- Sylvia Perel, San Francisco Latin American Film Festival
“A masterpiece ”
- Reflets du Cinéma Ibérique et Latino-américain, France
“What a find! The magical expression of life, community, spirit, joy. ”
- Gerrie Zommerman, Culturewrap,org
“Congratulations on such a wonderful film! This film contributes to our understanding of the experience of migration, cultural identity, and their impact on traditional and contemporary arts. It should become an important resource to college-level teaching in Latino and Latin American Studies”
- Dr. Carlos Fernandez, Director, Center for Latino Arts and Culture, Rutgers U,
“Congratulations! A lovely film about immigration, identity, and traditions in a global world”
- Cecilia Lawinski
“A lovely story that touches at the heart of contemporary America: a story of exile and quest for one's origins and identity ”
- Abigail Doukhan, Professor of Philosophy, Queens College
“A truly inspiring and beautiful film. As a 2nd generation immigrant, I totally related to the quest to connect to roots,and and complexities of such a mission”
- Bryan Pu-Folkes, Jackson Heights Film Festival
“A wonderful film, done in such an honest and exciting way, with great insight into Peruvian society and its outstanding art ”
- Inge Bolin, anthropologist and author: "Growing Up in a Culture of Respect"
“A beautiful film, both as visual art and as personal story”
- Dr. Sally Atkins, Expressive Arts Therapy Program, Appalachian State U.
“Your screening went over excellent. The film touched a chord with everyone present. ”
- Adrian Perez, Orlando Hispanic Film Festival
“A fascinating, well-made film that explores cross-cultural identity through the medium of dance....SOY ANDINA successfully crosses cultural barriers to engage viewers' imaginations and touch their hearts.”
- Barbara Drake, Journalist |
“La pelicula realmente estuvo genial, estupenda... es motivadora y creo que ha sabido calar en fibras de nuestra identidad”
- Ricardo Virhuez Villafane, La República
“Fantastic... An insightful story about cultural identity and tradition vs. globalization”
- Ned Berke, journalist
“Until now, Peruvians did not have a document of their American journey; it is a pioneering effort. ”
- Olga Millas
“There are few works that reflect what someone of our generation goes through in search of identity. This is one -- great documentary.”
- Jorlui Sillau
“Soy Andina has all those elements that make a film unforgettable. It makes the connection in space and time, the present and the past. ”
- Carmen Valdivieso Hulbert, Associated Press
“You captured the essence of the dance, the reality of the people. ”
- Sara Perez, Bronx Dance Academy
“A powerful film of interest to anyone wishing to explore cultures, traditions and roots, and for anyone who's ever asked: 'who am I, and where do I belong?'”
- Daria Hajioannou, ethnomusicologist & musician
“As an academic with years of experience using documentaries on Latin America, I can honestly say that none I've seen show the intimacy between the camera and the culture that Soy Andina does; it looks at the culture and people from within. ”
- Edmundo Morales, Anthropology Chair, Westchester University
“I can't tell you how much we enjoyed the film. The two ladies together play off each other so well -- the duality in the relationship, young-older, new-experienced, native-non native are fabulous. ”
- Cristina Altieri & Richard Martinez
“El documental me parecio muy emocionante, porque te hace vivir sentimientos que tienen muchos peruanos que viven en el extranjero y qeu sienten el fuerte lazo que los une al Peru. Ese amor hacia su tierra, sus costumbres, sus danzas, etc. El documental ademas presenta una vision crítica de la valoracion que hacen los propios peruanos hacia su cultural. La diferencia que hay entre limeños y provincianos. Nos enseña a valorar esas costumbres y queremos mas a nuestra propia culutra y a nosotros mismos ocmo peruanos. Muy bueno.”
- Jose Tinoco, Clase Producción de Medios Audiovisuales De la Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú
“I saw the screening at the Queens International Film Festival and have to say that I fell in love with this film. Thank you Nelida and Cynthia for sharing your story. It was well worth the wait. Cynthia bravo for being honest with your dance. You touch many of our hearts. Your dance at the end of the film was amazing. It’s sad that racism and self-hatred is still an issue for most of Peruvians. Hopefully with sharing some light to it Peruvians will be more accepting of themselves and their beauty. I'm still full of nostalgia. I am recommending this film to every Peruvian I know and can't wait for the DVD to come out. Thank you all! ”
- Jenny

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