What is a memory? And how do we remember? The different countries of Latin America have long dealt with this universal theme along with grief, loss and letting go. This selection of short films from Peru, Colombia, and Cuba offers another gaze at how people deal with personal losses, cultural traditions and the inclement passage of time. Made by talented Latin American filmmakers Francesca Canepa, Lucía Betancour, Luisa García Alva, Sofía Velasquez, and Celina Escher, the films deal with complex human experiences captured in five deeply moving stories.
1) Aya, 8 Min, Peru
On the hills of Peru, a 9-year-old kid works in a salt mine in order to fulfill the last wish of his mother.
Director: Francesca Canepa is a Peruvian director. She obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Cinema from the Paul Valery University in Montpellier and a Master’s degree in Cinematography from the ESCAC Film School of Catalonia. Her first short film “Aya”, filmed in the Peruvian Andes, won, among others, the Best Ibero-American Short Film Award at the Guadalajara International Film Festival, FICG 2017, gaining international recognition. Currently, she is finishing her most recent short film, “El Silencio del Río”, shot in the Amazon and pursuing a Master’s Degree in Film Direction at the EFTI School in Madrid.
2) Lumbalú, 25 Min, Colombia
Moraima Simarra, through the death of her father Guillermo, will immerse us in the Lumbalú, a funeral ritual that takes place in San Basilio de Palenque, the first slave town in America that fought for freedom, exposing the way to transcend the most there with the help of music, singing, dancing, and prayers.
Director: Lucía Betancur “As a filmmaker, I have been interested in telling the stories that my country, Colombia, has inspired me to tell; the documentary is the door that allows me to have an artistic look at my reality.”
3) Hasta que regrese (Until I return), 17 Min, Peru
A woman takes a trip to Paucartambo, her grandmother’s town. In the preparations for the festivity, she meets a dancer who reveals the origin of his faith.
Director: Luisa Garcia Alva
4) Soy eterno (I am eternal), 6 Min, Peru
A reconstruction of memory through music, memories and the lack of both.
Director: Sofía Velázquez is a Peruvian communicator and visual anthropologist, born in 1981. As a documentary filmmaker she works on themes such as memory, representation, popular culture, and her work has been exhibited at the Vancouver Latin American Film Festival, the Peruvian Film Festival in New York, the Cultural Center of Spain in Santiago de Chile and the Maison del’Amérique Latine in Paris. She is co-director of the feature film “Peruvian Portrait of Peru” and is a professor of the Faculty of Communications and the Master of Visual Anthropology.
5) Verde Olivo, 15 Min, Cuba
A Cuban militant fixes her TV to watch Obama’s visit to Cuba. This historical moment brings her back to her life as a militant.
Director: Celina Escher, “I want to tell stories about people and their socio-political context. I have developed a hybrid way of making movies, where I mix documentary, fiction, and experimental film. My films are about women and their process of empowerment in different contexts.”