Film about female political prisoners from Nicaragua at the documentary festival

From “Hojas de K”

The short film will compete in one of the most important documentary festivals in the world, which will premiere on June 24

By Alejandra Padilla (Confidential)

HAVANA TIMES – Nicaraguan filmmaker Gloria Carrion will premiere her latest film, “Leaves of K.”, on June 24 at the Sheffield International Documentary Festival, one of the top documentary festivals in the world and Britain’s largest.

Directed and written by Carrion, and produced by Costa Rican Lianet Rodriguez, the documentary will be presented in the program entitled “I am your sister”where it will compete with nine other short films selected from thousands of submitted entries that include similar themes.

In an interview with the online program Tonight, Carrion said the documentary is based on interviews with ten women who participated in Nicaragua’s 2018 civic uprising against the dictatorial regime of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo. “The short film tells the story of a character called ‘K’, a 17-year-old girl who, due to her participation in a demonstration organized by classmates, is put in prison. She recounts her time in prison, as well as her meeting with other women who also participated in these marches.

What is the message that this documentary seeks to convey?

On the one hand, to make known what Nicaragua went through in 2018, the impacts of state and para-police violence that the country experienced at that time. Without forgetting, of course, the series of human rights violations that thousands of people in Nicaragua have suffered and continue to suffer. In this sense, it also shows the capacity for strength and resilience of the women who participated in the civic uprising, but also of the Nicaraguan people in general.

How much do you identify with the story of “K.” ?

For me, this film is extremely personal because my parents were in prison during the Somoza dictatorship for having defended their ideas, their ideals and the freedom of Nicaragua at that time. Currently, I also have three relatives who are political prisoners: Ana Margarita Vijil, Tamara Davila and Dora María Tellez.

Who participated in the production of “K.” Sheets?

Most of my team is anonymous for security reasons. We are only three public persons. Myself, Lianet Rodriguez, producer of the short film, and Leonor Zuniga, distribution coordinator. The three of us are outside of Nicaragua and in fact most of my team is in exile. We also have Carolina Hernández, a Costa Rican producer who has been very supportive in this process.

Was it difficult to produce this documentary in a context of repression, persecution and exile?

It was a very complex process, not only because of the context in which we find ourselves, but also because of the personal circumstances of each member of the team and the technical complications. It’s my first animated film, and in this sense the necessary collective work was incredible, not only to know everyone’s work instructions, but also to do it via the zoom platform. At times, we started to have parallel creative processes and that allowed us to have a collaborative dynamic. I also worked with an actress for the voice of “K.”, and it was an experience to have to work remotely.

Where will “Leaves of K.” first?

It will premiere at Sheffield Doc Fest, which is one of the best documentary festivals in the world and the largest in England. It will be presented on June 24 at 4:00 p.m. and then on June 26 at 10:00 a.m. It is presented as part of a program called “I am your sister”, where several short films with similar themes are brought together to bring all these pieces into dialogue. We are not only in the official presentation, but also, we are in official competition. Of the thousands of short films that the festival has received from all over the world, only 40 have been selected for the official selection and only ten for the official competition, of which ours is part.

What expectations did this documentary arouse?

We are at the beginning of this exciting race to make our work known. I think what is written in Sheffield about the film will be essential and we hope to show it in other spaces to get more feedback, comments, reactions, because it always feeds the creators of this art.

How much reality and how much fiction is there in the story of “K.” ?

The short film is made from the point of view of “K. It is constructed as if it were her diary, in which she draws her memories and also writes. A stage strategy that was fundamental for me to work on was the creation of environments in which the line that separates reality from fiction is very thin. There are dreamlike atmospheres that allow the protagonist to face the horror of the prison. These dreams allow her to grasp her strength and find her resilience, so that at least a part of her comes out of this experience intact.

Read more about Nicaragua here on Havana Times


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