Olivia L. Carrescia

Olivia L. Carrescia has worked as a researcher, producer, and editor for the past 25 years in the United States and Europe. After receiving a B.F.A. from the Cooper Union Art School, she worked on major feature films in Rome, Italy, and later on cultural documentaries for RAI-Italian TV, BBC, and the award-winning children's television program, "Big Blue Marble," in the U.S., Europe, and Latin America.

Her first independent film, Todos Santos Cuchumatan won a Blue Ribbon in Anthropology and Ethnography at the American Film Festival in 1983. It aired on public TV in the U.S., Germany, and Australia.

Her second film, Todos Santos: The Survivors, won a Blue Ribbon in International Affairs at the American Film Festival in 1991. Mayan Voices: American Lives completed the trilogy in 1995. All three have been distributed internationally and are owned by every major university and Latin American Studies Film collection in the U.S.

Carrescia was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship in filmmaking in 1996. She has received three NYFA Fellowships and numerous grants from NYSCA, the American Film Institute, the Jerome Foundation, the Soros Open Society Institute, and others.

Her recent films include Diamonds in the Dark about women in Romania, and Dan's Class about a unique third-grade teacher. Her latest documentary, Sacred Soil, describes the work of the Guatemalan Forensic Anthropology Foundation which is still uncovering the remains of thousands of Mayan Indians who were massacred during the 1980's.

She is currently a teaching artist with non-profit arts organizations in New York City.

Icarus Films is proud to distribute these films by Olivia L. Carrescia. Discover more of our featured filmmakers.


Returning to Todos Santos after 30 years, a look at the profound economic and social changes that have transformed this Guatemalan Mayan village.

Olivia Carrescia | 2011 | 52 minutes | Color | English subtitles

Now on one DVD, Olivia Carrescia's three films on the Mayan Indians of Guatemala preserve a record, and provide an acute observation on how the indigenous culture has been affected by, yet survived, that country's tumultuous history.

Olivia Carrescia | 2008 | 155 minutes | Color | English subtitles

Contrasts the experiences of Mayan families who came to Indiantown, Florida as refugees fleeing the violence in Guatemala in the early 1980s, with the struggles of those continuing to arrive in search of better lives.

Olivia Carrescia | 1994 | 56 minutes | Color

The Guatemalan Forensic Anthropology Foundation exhumes up to 1,000 bodies a year to identify them, and return the remains to their families.

Olivia Carrescia | 2009 | 22 minutes | Color

This film provides an intimate look at everyday life in Todos Santos, a village in Guatemala's highlands, before the violence of the 1980s.

Olivia Carrescia | 1982 | 41 minutes | Color

Demonstrates how the political turmoil of the 1980s affected this once quiet Guatemalan village.

Olivia Carrescia | 1989 | 58 minutes | Color