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A man. A woman. An encounter forces them to evoke events they were both determined to forget. Based on a classic short story of Paraguayan Literature.
With LIDIA VDA. DE CUEVAS / ARTURO FLEITAS
Director MARCELO MARTINESSI
Adaptation of a work by CARLOS VILLAGRA MARSAL
Produced by MIRA Executive Producer GABRIELA SABATÉ Director of photography LUIS ARTEAGA Art Director CARLO SPATUZZA Original score MAESTRO CÉSAR CATALDO Sound MARTÍN GRIGNASCHI Editor MARCELO MARTINESSI Produced with support of FONDEC / NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC ALL ROADS SEED FUND / PETROBRAS / INDUSTRIAS TROCIUK / AECID / CC DE ESPAÑA JUAN DE SALAZAR Filmed in Laguna Capitán, Chaco, PARAGUAY ©2009
KARAI NORTE was the very first film from Paraguay to be shown at the Berlinale. It, then played at several film festivals all over the world including Melbourne, La Habana, Chicago. It won several awards such as Best Ibero American Film at the Guadalajara Film Festival, First Prize at the AXN Film Festival and the Glauber Rocha Award at the Jornadas de Cinema da Bahia (Brazil). The short story on which the film is based comes from an oral narration. Author CARLOS VILLAGRA MARSAL recalls hearing it for the first time a few months after the Paraguayan Civil War (1947). VILLAGRA wrote the short story in Spanish. It was published in many languages and became one of the most important ‘cuentos’ of Paraguay. With the short film the dialogues were translated back to Guaraní, their original language. GUARANI, spoken in the film, is one of the official languages of Paraguay, where it is spoken by the majority of the population. It is also spoken by communities in neighbouring countries, including parts of Northeastern Argentina, Southeastern Bolivia and Southwestern Brazil. It is also an official language of Mercosur. Guarani is one of the most-widely spoken indigenous languages of the Americas and the only one whose speakers include a large proportion of non-indigenous people.
MARCELO MARTINESSI decided to film the story in black and white, using an old 16mm camera. The whole project aimed at ‘imagining what Paraguayan cinema could have looked like in the 1960‘s if there were films shot during the long period that the country remained - mainly - in the dark’. From 1954 to 1989 Paraguay was under Alfredo Stroessner’s dictatorship. The actress LIDIA VDA. DE CUEVAS had no experience at the time of making this film. She still lives in her hometown Emboscada (Paraguay) selling the straw hats she makes. - Ko ángã peve ko nda creei, umiva ko gente arandúpe guaránte (I can’t believe this, I though acting was only for cultured people) - she explains to local newspaper ABC in her native Guaraní, during a 2009 interview made as soon as the Berlinale premiere was announced. ARTURO FLEITAS is a well-known Paraguayan TV and theatre actor based in Montevideo, Uruguay where he has worked at El Galpón for several years.
WORLD PREMIERE 59th BERLINALE – BERLINALE SHORTS (GERMANY)
24 FESTIVAL INTERNACIONAL DE CINE EN GUADALAJARA (MEXICO)
Best IBEROAMERICAN SHORT FILM
FESTIVAL DE CINE “CERO LATITUD (ECUADOR)
Best SHORT FILM - Audience award
KINOFORUM FESTIVAL DE CORTOS DE SAO PAULO (BRASIL)
Special Mention ABD-SP / Latin American Section
36 JORNADA DE CINE DE BAHIA (BRASIL)
GLAUBER ROCHA Award - Best film of the 36ta Jornada de Cine de Bahía.
Best ACTRESS (Lidia Vda de Cuevas)
11 CONCURSO DE CORTOMETRAJES DE LA UPM DE MADRID (ESPAÑA)
Best DIRECTOR (Marcelo Martinessi)
50 FESTIVAL DE CINE DE CARTAGENA DE INDIAS (COLOMBIA)
14 FLORIANÓPOLIS AUDIOVISUAL MERCOSUL (BRASIL)
Best SHORT FILM
Festival CINESUL DE RIO DE JANEIRO (BRASIL)
AXN International Film Festival (RED DE TV LATINO AMERICANA)
Best SHORT FILM
BABEL International Film Festival (ITALIA)
Best SHORT FILM - Maestrale Award
OFFICIAL SELECTION AT: Melbourne International Film Festival (Australia) / Festival de Cine de Novara (Italia) / La Boca del Lobo (España) / Festival Iberoamericano de Cine de Huelva (España) / Zinebi Festival de Documentales y Cortometrajes de Bilbao (España) / Pantalla Latina (Suiza) / Festival Internacional de Cine de Mar del Plata (Argentina) / Festival del Nuevo Cine Latinoamericano de La Habana (Cuba) / Mostra Latinoamerica de Cine de Lleida (España) / Chicago Latino Film Festival (US) / Cine Las Américas Film Festival (US) / Festival Internacional de Cine de Huesca (España) / Festival Cinema Jove – Valencia (España).