Private Project

The Importance of Being Provoste

Juan Provoste is a retired teacher from a small town in southern Chile. Every year he organizes the family reunion, the Provostada, with relatives coming from all over the country. He loves meeting new relatives, catching up with old ones, and sharing experiences with his family. But after 22 years, and with no family member willing to carry on with the reunion, a tired Juan has had enough and cancelled the Provostada for good. Now he wonders what could have gone wrong that no one shares his enthusiasm and felt moved to continue the tradition.

  • Vlad Salazar
  • Vlad Salazar
  • Vlad Salazar
  • Juan Provoste
    Key Cast
  • Vlad Salazar, Paula Hollstein Barria, José Miguel Ortega.
    Original idea
  • Esteban Vargas
  • Vlad Salazar
  • Felipe Roa
  • Vlad Salazar
  • Mario Merino
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    Ser un Provoste
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Experimental, Feature
  • Genres:
    Sociology, Family, Drama
  • Runtime:
    60 minutes 1 second
  • Completion Date:
    March 30, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    5,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - University of Warwick
Distribution Information
  • Cintamani Films
    Country: Worldwide
    Rights: All Rights
Director Biography - Vlad Salazar

Vlad Salazar (Vladimir Rosas Salazar) received his MA in Film and Screen Studies at Goldsmiths, University of London, and is currently undertaking a PhD in Film and Television Studies at the University of Warwick. Rosas’ research interests include amateur filmmaking and video aesthetic. The Importance of Being Provoste (2021) is his first documentary.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

Being a Provoste was born as an archival excavation of an annual family reunion called ‘La Provostada’, recorded in 2009 in Angol, Chile. After 10 years, I decided to review these videos and interview again Juan Provoste, the organizer of the meeting, who, to my surprise, had definitively canceled the Provostadas in 2012. Thus, I try to investigate the reasons that lead him to get rid of one ceremony that he built and performed for more than 20 years. The longings of him, but also the pains and resentments of him.

This documentary is an attempt to rescue a dead family tradition, but with a critical component. Outside of a celebratory framework on the family, I am intrigued by Juan Provoste's personal process and his path of disappointment. It is also a review of family dynamics that always seemed more superficial (Juan is my grandmother's cousin, who died in 2018, when the idea of ​​unpacking the videos came up).

Finally, making this documentary is a creative exploration. My approach to cinema is theoretical. I research the aesthetics of video and amateur cinema. Taking a leap into practice allows me to have a more complete approach to documentary work that draws on home videos, of its role as visual evidence of a past in the private sphere, and of re-evaluating its content based on the present (part of my PhD research, currently).