Ajyal Film Festival 2024

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Landfill Harmonic

Ajyal Competition - Ajyal Youth Film Festival 2015

Brad Allgood, Graham Townsley / Feature Documentary / United States of America / 2015 / 84 min / Colour / DCP2K / In English, Spanish / English subtitles / MENA Premiere
Rated: Parental guidance is advised. Some material may be inappropriate for young children.


The Paraguayan capital city of Asunción produces 1,500 tonnes of garbage daily, which it dumps in a landfill in the small town of Cateura. To eke out their meagre subsistence, the families here sort through the trash, collecting recyclable materials to sell. The young people living in the town have had few viable options for the future besides working in the dump; this cycle of poverty has appeared endless – until now.

When Favio Chavéz came to work in Cateura, he began to offer free music lessons, but it quickly became clear there were more hopeful students than available instruments in a place where a violin costs more than a house. Then, a brainwave hit and soon Colá, a local trained as a carpenter, began producing instruments with materials found in the vast expanse of the landfill.

Thus, the Recycled Orchestra was born. After dedicated practice and a few well-received performances, the group gained international fame, eventually even performing onstage with the likes of major rock bands Megadeth and Metallica. In a wonderful celebration of talent, hope and the soul-affirming joy of making music, ‘Landfill Harmonic’ tracks the astounding rise of a community youth orchestra that was given the opportunity to make its mark on the world.

Official Film Website


Brad Allgood, Graham Townsley
Juliana Penaranda-Loftus
Brad Allgood
Associate Producer
Natalie Irby, Jennifer Tocquigny
Executive Producer
Alejandra Amarilla, Rodolfo Madero, Belle Murphy
Michael Levine
Neil Barrett, Tim Fabrizio, Brad Allgood
Sales Company
The Film Collaborative
Production Company
Meeta Films, Bella Voce Films, Eureka Productions, Hidden Village Films
The Recycled Instruments Orchestra of Cateura

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