Pacho Velez

Pacho Velez is a Cambridge-based documentary filmmaker. Orphans of Mathare is his second film. His first film, Occupation (made with Maple Razsa), won Best Documentary at the Ivy Film Festival (2003) and screened at festivals in North America, Europe, and Asia. The film played for a week at the Pioneer Theater in New York City and has screened at the George Eastman House and Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts. Segments of Occupation appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show and on an A&E special on low-wage workers in America.

Pacho recently received the Gardner Prize from Harvard University and has spent a year in Croatia shooting a film on anti-fascist youth. He is also working on a series of films for the Long Warf Theater in New Haven, Connecticut.

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    Orphans of Mathare

    This powerful documentary examines the lives of former street children now living at the Good Samaritan Children’s Home, an orphanage and school in the sprawling Mathare slum of Nairobi, Kenya. Although it focuses on one orphanage in Mathare, the film lays bare the complicated relationship between poverty, violence, disease, Christianity, tradition, and the orphan crisis in Kenya and throughout sub-Saharan Africa.

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