Ways to go through a Territory

Do we belong to a place or does a place belong to us? A documentalist and a family of shepherdesses, protagonists of this story, will braid the answers to this question in a documentary essay about identity, transformation of a landscape and filmmaking

  • Project Title (Original Language):
    Formas de Atravesar un Territorio
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  • Runtime:
    1 hour 30 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    February 1, 2024
  • Production Budget:
    269,221 USD
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  • Country of Filming:
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  • Shooting Format:
    DIGITAL, 16 MM
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  • First-time Filmmaker:
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Director and editor of creative documentaries. Currently part of the National System of Creators with the documentary project "Ways to Go Through a Territory" (K'elchijetik) which is in post-production and has been selected in labs such as Berlinale DocStation 2023, Walden Residencies 2022, PlataformaMX, Sanfic Lab, Fidba Lab among others.

Her first feature film "La danza del hipocampo" (2017) has been awarded and recognized by several national and international film festivals, a film with which began her personal exploration around the essayistic form of the documentary, as well as a particular interest in the theme of memory and the archive.

In addition, she has directed several short documentaries and dance for film that have contributed to her creation and artistic style. She has a degree in Communication Sciences at the UDLAP and then a master's degree in Creative Documentary by the Autonomous University of Barcelona and a diploma in Film Essay at the EICTV Cuba. In addition, her formative education has been enriched by various forums and workshops such as the Berlinale Talent Campus in Berlin 2016 and 2023, Talents Guadalajara in 2015, she participated as a fellow of the Flaherty Seminar in New York in 2015, in addition to the Walden writing workshop with Marta Andreu in 2020.

Ways to Cross a Territory, documentary, postproduction.
Un murmullo recorre la tierra, documentary, postproduction.
La Danza del Hipocampo, documentary, 2017.
Dancing in the street, 11 grados de separación, documentary, 2020.
La Comunidad del Oído Atento, shortfilm, 2018.
Ladridos, shortfilm, 2016.
Diagrama, shortfilm, 2015.
Hermosa danza de la resistencia, shortfilm, 2012.

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Director Statement

“Ways of going Through a Territory” is a film essay in which the subjective qualities of experience and memory that arise from the act of filming are emphasized. "Traversing" is an instrument of knowledge, experience and symbolic interpretation of the territory, seeing what does not exist and making something emerge from it. Crossing the territory, as an analogy of the place of the image; in an uncertain terrain, such as that of the essay, where subjectivity shows the author of the film in the testimonial experience, that refers both to her experiences in the real world and to experiences during the process of making the film that result in self-questioning. The documentary as a process and not a means to understand the world.

A narrative puzzle in which my questions and reflections are part of the creative inspiration and are also the film device that drives the emotions in the film. Image, word and emotion will be the formula to give meaning to this essayistic wander in which the director seeks to capture the beauty that she experiences when inhabiting the place where the shepherdesses live, while building, in an essay way, relationships between herding and caring to the mountains; between the broken mountains and the memory of a place; and the way in which memory is built through the image, the decisions and dilemmas that arise during meetings when there is a camera involved is questioned.

The essay will weave together the director's findings while she visits the shepherdesses, as well as the discovery of the natural landscape, the dreamlike images filmed in 16 mm and a diverse visual archive.
There is a search for style that is the result of an imaginary framed in 16 mm film, a format that gives the opportunity to feel a more organic time in the image, to patiently attend to the moment of shooting. A series of unique images that save time in an incomparable texture such as cinema. These small vignettes arose from an abstraction of the time shared with them, their gestures and the symbolic reinterpretation that I do of their work and perseverance. They are a kind of intermissions immersed between the subjective and the objective, between the dreamlike and the knowable, between the intimate and the seen.

The sound design will be in charge of Christian Giraud, who will carry out sound explorations that dimension the sound environment, that enhance the echo that is heard in the mountains and that immerse us in the textures of the forest and the city. How does the mountain of Los Altos de Chiapas sound? How does this sound contrast with those of the city of San Cristóbal? The contrasts between rural and urban, steps and extracting machines will also be sought.

The voices of the women speaking in Tsotsil sound stealthy, discreet. There is a cadence that is very particular. Tsotsil is the language of the mountains. Its echo will resound among the silences. The sound environment tells us about the history, the affections, the power relations of a time and space.
Playing not only with the descriptive dimension of sounds, but also with their affective dimension when they evoke in the listener experiences that arouse sensations, emotions.
The voice-over of the narrator, who is the authorial character. It will be a voice that resembles the reserved and intimate tone of Tsotsil women.

What effects does the sound territory we inhabit have on us? What are the sound brands of these territories? What elements make it possible to recognize that place? How does the way and tone of speaking affect relationships between people? How does it affect our emotions and sensations as spectators? What does he propose to us? Where does it take us?

Music and sound design will work hand in hand to generate a subtle, unobtrusive sound. In general music will be used in the 16mm interludes. Wind instruments such as the transverse flute, clarinet, or other soft wind sounds such as the sound of a rotating corrugated tube. Choirs of female voices that resound in the mountains. The music will have a feeling of wind. Music will accompany moments of introspection, also fun moments, playful like sheep.