A Storm Was Coming

In 1904, Ësáasi Eweera, the last native Bubi leader who opposed the Spanish rule at the current island of Bioko, Equatorial Guinea, was detained by colonial guards and died three days later. By reenacting written texts through voiceovers, taping and studying native oral accounts and identifying historically charged sites, A storm was coming reflects on the gaps, contradictions and falsehoods that colonial history is built upon.

  • Javier Fernández Vázquez
    Señales de indiferencia, Los materiales, Árboles
  • Javier Fernández Vázquez
    Los materiales, Árboles
  • Justo Bolekia Boleká
    Key Cast
  • Reha-Xustina Bolekia Bueriberi
    Key Cast
  • Nieves Posa Bohome
    Key Cast
  • Paciencia Tobileri Bepe
    Key Cast
  • Ricardo Bulá Bitema
    Key Cast
  • Donato Muatetema Muelachuá
    Key Cast
  • Fermín Muatiché Burelepe
    Key Cast
  • José Fernando Siale Djangany
    Key Cast
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    Anunciaron tormenta
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Experimental
  • Genres:
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 27 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    November 7, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    50,000 EUR
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
    Equatorial Guinea, Spain
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Berlinale
    February 23, 2020
    World Premiere
    Berlinale Forum. Nominated to Best Documentary Award
  • Festival Internacional de Cine de Cartagena de Indias
    Cartagena de Indias
    March 13, 2020
    Latin American premiere
  • Jeonju International Film Festival
    Korea, Republic of
    Asian premiere
  • Black Canvas FCC
    Mexico City
    October 5, 2020
    North American premiere
  • FIC Valdivia
    October 12, 2020
    Chilean premiere
  • Dokufest
    August 15, 2020
    Kosovo premiere
    International Competition
  • Viennale
    October 31, 2020
    Austrian premiere
    Official selection
  • Pápa International Historical Film Festival
    November 13, 2020
    Hungarian Premiere
  • Mar del Plata International Film Festival
    Mar del Plata
    November 25, 2020
    Argentinian Prmiere
    Official Selection. Estados Alterados
  • Pravo Ljudski
    Bosnia and Herzegovina
    December 4, 2020
    Bosnian premiere
  • Frames of Representation
    United Kingdom
    December 8, 2020
    UK premiere
  • Documenta Madrid
    December 11, 2020
    Spanish premiere
    International Competition
  • Novos Cinemas
    December 19, 2020
    Best Film. Latexos Section
  • DocLisboa
    January 14, 2021
    Portuguese premiere
  • Transcinema Film Festival
    January 15, 2021
    Peruvian premiere
    Resistencias Competition
  • Las Palmas International Film Festival
    Las Palmas
    April 10, 2021
  • D'A Film Festival
    May 5, 2021
    Un impulso colectivo
  • Festival de Cine Africano de Tarifa-Tánger
    June 3, 2021
    Miradas españolas
  • The African Film Festival
    Dallas, Texas
    United States
    June 1, 2021
    USA Premiere
  • L'Incontrolat. Muestra Documental y Etnografía
    July 14, 2021
  • NEMAF Seoul International ALT Cinema & Media Festival
    Korea, Republic of
    August 25, 2021
    Best Glocal Propose
  • FLIGHT Mostra Internazionale di Cinema di Genova
    October 1, 2021
    Italian Premiere
    Best Non-Fiction Feature Length Film
  • Fotogenia
    México DF
    December 17, 2021
  • L'Europe Autour de L'Europe
    November 25, 2021
    French premiere
    Special Mention. Prix Sauvage
Distribution Information
  • Arsenal Distribution
    Country: Germany
    Rights: All Rights
    Country: Austria
    Rights: All Rights
    Country: Switzerland
Director Biography - Javier Fernández Vázquez

Javier Fernández Vázquez is a filmmaker, anthropologist and visual culture researcher. In 2007 he directed his first short film Señales de Indiferencia / Marks of Indifference, which received the award to the best international short film in the Valdivia International Film Festival (Chile).

In 2008, he founded with Luis López Carrasco and Natalia Marín Sancho the experimental and documentary film collective, Los Hijos. Their first feature-length film, Los materiales / The Materials (2010), won the Jean Vigo award to the best direction in Punto de Vista Pamplona International Film Festival 2010 and a special mention in FID Marseille 2010. Their next feature-length films as well as several shorts and video installations were selected by international film festivals and exhibited in contemporary art centres. Their work has also received special retrospective sections in Mar del Plata International Film Festival (Argentina) or Distrital (Mexico).

In 2015, Javier Fernández Vázquez began an academic career in Film Studies and Visual Culture that has led him to research on issues related to history, memory, colonialism, visual culture and object theory.

Anunciaron tormenta / A storm was coming (2019) is his first solo feature-length film.


Señales de Indiferencia / Marks of Indifference (2007, 14')
El sol en el sol del membrillo / The sun on the quince tree of the sun (2008, 12', co-dir)
Ya viene, aguanta, riégueme, mátame / It’s coming, hold on, spray me, kill me (2009, 8´, co-dir)
Los materiales / The materials (2010, 75´, co-dir)
Circo / Circus (2010, 71´, co-dir)
Tarde de Verano / Summer afternoon (2011, 6´, co-dir)
Evacuación / Evacuation (2011, 2´, co-dir)
Enero 2012 o la apoteosis de Isabel La Católica / January 2012 or the apotheosis of Isabel, the Catholic Queen (2012, 18´, co-dir)
Árboles / Trees (2013, 61’, co-dir)
Anunciaron tormenta / A Storm Was Coming (2019, 87')

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

As far as I know, Anunciaron tormenta is one of the firsts attempts in Spanish cinema that addresses the colonial past of Equatorial Guinea. My concern about this issue began more than ten years ago, when I found out that the bibliography on this territory was very scarce. Moreover, very few people in Spain seemed to know or remember that Equatorial Guinea was controlled by Spain until 1968.

Most of the reference texts that deal with this period belong to the Francoist era and helped to construct the idea of a benevolent, condescending metropole that peacefully persuaded natives of the kindness of Catholic religion. A closer reading between the lines of such texts tells a different story. A violent one.

Apart from the archive and field research undertaken in Spain and Equatorial Guinea, my main task has been to define the audio-visual tools that would help me to mark those gaps and contradictions in the official texts that would expose the operations of concealment carried out by colonial institutions.

Therefore, I established three paths: reflecting on the status of orality versus writing; identifying historically charged sites and exploring the materiality of the documents. My creative process has been focused on experimenting with the relations among them, always reemebering what the writer Justo Bolekia Boleká once told me after he agreed to take part in the project: 'Bubis will tell you a lot of things about their collective and individual memory but they will always keep something for themselves'.