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News & Activities
Cinema.  Washington DC,  15/06/2017

LA CHANA, directed by Lucija Stojevic, and CUCLI, by Xavier Marrades, featured at AFI DOCS in Washington, DC

Winner of the Audience Award at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, LA CHANA celebrates the incomparable talent and spirit of Spain's greatest gypsy flamenco dancer as she reflects on her storied past while preparing for a return to the stage in her 70s. CUCLI, a documentary short film directed by Catalan filmmaker Xavier Marrades, features a widowed truck driver who finds companionship through a peculiar relationship with his pet dove. 


LA CHANA

“I was born to dance.  I would lay awake all night long, repeating the rhythms in my head until they became a part of me.” -La Chana

Antonia Santiago Amador, known as La Chana, is 67 years old. She is helped onto an empty stage and settles into her chair with difficulty. Then her feet begin to move. With closed eyes, she combines intricate rhythms at an ever-faster pace. Her body and soul finally succumb to the beat. She comes alive.

In the 1960s and 1970s La Chana was one of the biggest stars in the flamenco world. The self-taught Gypsy dancer rose to the scene at the height of the Golden Era of flamenco, surprising audiences worldwide with a style that was innovative: rhythmic combinations that were nontraditional and a speed, an expression and a power while dancing that were unprecedented.  Her shows were advertised on larger-than-life sized billboards across Madrid.  Peter Sellers, with whom she features in the film The Bobo (1967) invited her to Hollywood.  But she didn’t go. Instead, at the zenith of her career, she suddenly disappeared from the scene.

As we follow the backstage drama leading to La Chana’s final seated performance in 2013, she unravels her turbulent life story and reveals the secret that cut short her promising career: for 18 years she was a victim of domestic abuse at the hands of her first husband.

La Chana isn’t about regret for a life that could have been but about La Chana’s strength to keep overcoming difficult life circumstances that are. It’s a story about the process and power of creation, about love, friendship and re-invention. La Chana takes us deep into the essence of her passion and reveals a poetic and inspiring story that crystallizes the inevitable clashes between her life’s extremes and contradictions; between the artist on stage and the woman behind the scenes.

CUCLI

Ramon lives with his parents, although he is away most of the week working as a truck driver. These are long and lonely trips until he meets a very special companion that changes everything. Cucli tells a story about love and companionship after death and its transformative effect. How through memories, the supernatural can find its way into our mundane lives.

AFI DOCS is the nation's documentary film festival known for showcasing the best in documentary filmmaking from the US and around the world. AFI DOCS is also the only film festival in the United States that offers the unique opportunity to connect film audiences with national opinion leaders, filmmakers and intriguing film subjects. With conversations and experiences you won't experience at any other film festival, AFI DOCS harnesses the power of this important art form and its potential to inspire change. Screenings during this annual five-day event take place in landmark venues in Washington, DC and the world-class AFI Silver Theatre, the independent film hub of the metropolitan region. Throughout the year the AFI DOCS FILM SERIES brings audiences in the nation's capital the best in nonfiction filmmaking.

AFI DOCS

LA CHANA

Dir. Lucija Stojevic; 2016; 86 min

Thu, Jun 15, 8:45pm, SILVER 2

Sat, Jun 17, 3:30pm, LANDMARK 7

Tickets: here

Shorts Program: Great Loves

CUCLI

Dir. Xavier Marrades; 2016; 17 min

Fri, June 16, 11:30am

Tickets: here

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The Institut Ramon Llull is a consortium that comprises the Generalitat (Government of Catalonia), Balearic Islands Government and the Barcelona City Council, and its mission is the promotion of Catalan language and culture abroad.
Generalitat de Catalunya Govern de les Illes Balears Ajuntament de Barcelona
The IRL forms part of the Fundació Ramon Llull, which was established by the Government of Andorra, the Ramon Llull Institute, General Council of the Eastern Pyrenees, the city of Alghero, Balearic Islands Towns and Entities Network and the group of Valencian Cities, and has its central offices in Andorra.
Fundació Ramon Llull