WATCH OUR SHORT FILMS

KARAI NORTE (2009)

CALLE ULTIMA (2011) 

CALLE ULTIMA (2011) 

EL BALDIO (2013)

EL BALDIO (2013)

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) 

Festivals 

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.

FESANCOR (CHILE)

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)

Honorable MENTION

14 FLORIANÓPOLIS AUDIOVISUAL MERCOSUL (BRASIL)

Best SHORT FILM

Festival CINESUL DE RIO DE JANEIRO (BRASIL)

Honorable MENTION

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).

In only twenty minutes, this film alludes to loneliness, poverty and human heart beats across our continent. A Paraguayan tale that reminds us of Juan Rulfo. A camera that describes (in black and white, of course) faces, objects, verbal and visual languages torn out of the land from its roots. A shot of astonishing precision in the unforgiving desert.
— VICENTE LEÑERO, Mexican writer
Two vibrant portraits, that of a tough yet endearing old lady; and a courageous South American cowboy. Artistic symbols such as this short film, make an interesting and intelligent page for Paraguayan identity, attractive and appealing to the eyes of the world. A sensitive film that retains up to the seventeenth minute a slow and melancholic tone, with an ending that hits like a nightmare.
— Fernando Moure, art critic, AICA
With beautiful and sad images - from wide shots that frame the isolation of the place to the details of intimate moments - Karai Norte is a story held in the heavy atmosphere of passivity. Telling us about the ‘waiting for the Messiah’ this short film echoes some of the Paraguayan idiosyncrasy. A poetic and powerful work.
— Sergio Colmán, film critic, LA CAJA
Probably one of the finest films screened at the festival. This work exudes accuracy. The slowness of movements, the sluggish and almost natural flow of actions, the use of the unchanging scenery as an aesthetic and narrative element, all this refers to the grand westerns of Sergio Leone, especially if we remember the anthology opening scene of “Once Upon a Time In the West”.
— João Paulo Putini, film critic, Kinoforum/Critica curta