Annika Beaulieu


BA Art History, University of California Santa Barbara, MA International Affairs, The New School GPIA

This is an imageAnnika Beaulieu is a filmmaker and activist who has been working all over the world in media production and community development. She has worked as a research associate in economic policy in Bangladesh, women’s rights in South Africa, and environmental security in New York.  Annika began her filmmaking career in Germany at Oval Filmmacher producing TV documentaries for ARTE. She assisted editing Oscar Nominated Darfur Now (2007) and worked on the Sundance Film Fund feature Good Fortune (2010). In 2007 she met Renzo Zanelli while working on the Black Boot Beach production, Son of Tango Kid (2011) in Argentina.  There they started experimenting with cooperative filmmaking models and decided to start using the techniques to explore social and environmental imperatives in film, thus forming Selva RIca.

Renzo Zanelli


BA Cinema Studies, University of Chicago

This is an image A native of Peru and the US, Renzo Zanelli has worked for nearly 10 years as a professional director of photography, editor, director and producer.  Renzo has produced and directed a number of award winning films including, Pamina: Hysteria and Mozart’s Magic Flute (2005) and El Perro del Hortelano (2010).  In 2006 Renzo joined the cooperative filmmaking company Black Boot Beach, and produced The Orange Thief (2006) in Sicily winning Best in Show at the Woodstock Film Festival, and The Son of Tango Kid in Argentina (2011).  In 2007 Renzo joined forces with Annika Beaulieu to found the Selva Rica Project. Renzo works to create films that share a positive message with humanity about our future and past.  A true romantic, Renzo’s work captures the deep beauty present in nature, music, and the various faces of our planet.

Oleg Kheyfets

Acting Professor/Director

This is an imageOleg Kheyfets is a theatre director with twenty-five years of international experience directing over forty plays. Mr. Kheyfets began his career directing young audiences in his native Russia.  He has directed six productions for Russian TV, four of which received honors and awards. In the United States, he has worked off-Broadway directing Arthur Miller's The Creation of the World and Other Business, and in Miami as Co-Producing Artistic Director of the PlayGround Theatre.  Mr. Kheyfets has taught acting and directing in various institutions including Columbia University and Stella Adler Conservatory. He currently teaches theater at Miami Dade College and directs actors with Selva Rica.

Layla Gassabi

Musician/Actor/Outreach Coordinator

This is an imageLayla is a musician, singer, and songwriter inspired by blues masters such as Nina Simone.  She is also an actress having performed in a number of feature and short films in the UK, Costa Rica and the US. In addition, Layla has more than 10 years of professional marketing and sales experience and is thrilled to be able to use these skills for environmental and arts initiatives like Selva Rica. Layla is originally from Scottland and Algeria and is fluent in Arabic, French, and English.

Enrique Villa


This is an imageEnrique is a first year Master’s candidate in the Global and International Studies program at UC Santa Barbara and has a BA degree in Social and Behavioral Science.
Enrique’s is drawn to issues of social injustice, underserved communities, human rights, and environmental issues and is working to capture these stories from behind the lens in film production. Enrique has worked in Mexico with migrant communities documenting their harrowing journeys across boarders. Enrique also enjoys snowboarding, basketball, hiking, and likes poetry slam.

Qiydaar Foster

Writer & Director

This is an imageQiydaar Foster is a New York City-based Filmmaker with experience in Writing, Directing, Editing, and Photography. After 12 years editing for video magazines, Qiydaar began producing his own films which are heavily influenced by the great visual poets like Ingmar Bergman, and Pier Paolo Pasolini. Qiydaar produces psychological dramas that illuminate man's internal relation to the planet.

Cayanne Fusco


This is an imageCayanne is a native of Woodstock, NY and has been writing and singing in the rich tradition of American Folk music for nearly all her life.  This last year she teamed up with Renzo Zanelli to produce the original single Let It Grow, and accompanying music video. Cayanne works with Selva Rica on music projects in both Woodstock, NY’s Byrdcliffe Arts Colony and in Costa RIca

Brus Rubio Churay


This is an imageBrus Rubio Churay is a painter from the Bora and Huitoto Nations located in the Amazon Rainforest of Pucaurquillo, Peru.  He has been painting professionally for nearly a decade and has become a leading figure among indigenous artists in Peru.  Now Brus is working to bring his knowledge and talents back to his community by founding the Brus Rubio Churay Art Center.  Here, students from the surrounding Bora and Huitoto communities are learning the foundations of traditional art, ancient cosmology, and self expression through creative arts.  Brus’ acting debut came when he stared in Selva Rica’s feature film El Perro del Hortelano (2010). Brus is also the recipient of the prestigious Alliance Frances art scholarship. 

Joseluis Alfredo Franco Castro


This is an imageAs an agricultural engineer, and photographer I work closely with indigenous communities on issues of biodiversity and respecting nature in the northern Amazon region of Peru. I am also a music fanatic and specialize in traditional flutes from the Andes like the Quenas, Zampoñas, Antaras, and more. I also work with tourism companies on preserving indigenous cultural knowledge systems and traditional medicine in our beloved Amazon and Andean communities.

Devin Beaulieu


BA Geography, University of California Berkeley
MA Anthropology, University of California San Diego

This is an imageDevin began his activism career in Bolivia during the indigenous movement and constitutional assembly in 2006.  As the sole North American journalist covering the Bolivia’s political transformation from within the constitutional assembly, he soon became a leading expert in the movement for plurinational representation. Devin was asked to come onto the Selva Rica feature film project El Perro del Hortelano (2010) as a consultant, but he soon found his voice on camera and became a leading actor in the film.  Devin is now at UCSD pursuing his PhD in Anthropology.

Silvia Rivera Alfaro

Dancer/Writer/Language Specialist

This is an imageSilvia has been writing since childhood, especially poetry. She has taken visual art classes in Costa Rica and Romania. In addition, she has been learning about contemporary dance and performance. At the present, she is finishing her BA in Spanish philology at University of Costa Rica, where she is also member of a performance collective. She works as a Spanish professor for foreign students periodically. She is interested in environmental and social projects, cultures and languages. Until now she has lived in Costa Rica, Spain and Romania. 

Rodrigo Carbajal Mas



This is an imageRodrigo Carbajal Mas nació en lima el 1 de setiembre de 1987, creció en una casa ubicada entre dos ríos, en el callejón de Huaylas, donde dos enormes pinos, un retorcido Queñual  y una mágica enredadera  despertaron su creatividad  y amor por la naturaleza.



Valbina Miguel

Dancer/Writer/Language Specialist

This is an imageValbina es una activista y actriz indigena. A trabajado para IBC Peru y fue una de las actrices principales en la pelicula "El Perro del Hortelano (2009).

Cappy Hotchkiss


This is an imageCappy Hotchkiss is a New York photographer who came to Valbina's village in 2009 in Peru. Her work can be seen on our photo section.






This is an imageUniversity of Chicago

University of California, Santa Barbara

University of California, San Diego

Santa Monica College

Instituto Bien Comun (IBC)

CREES Learning Center


Byrdcliffe Arts Colony, Woodstock NY