On Lake Maracaibo, beneath the mysterious silent Catatumbo lightning, the village of Congo Mirador is preparing for parliamentary elections. For streetwise local businesswoman and Chavist party representative Tamara every vote counts, fought by all means, while for opposition-supporting teacher Natalie, politics is a weapon unsuccessfully attempting to force her from her job. And with her sharp eyes, little Yoaini sees her community sinking from sedimentation, her childhood and innocence with it. How can a small shing village survive against corruption, pollution and political decay – a reflection of all the flaws of contemporary Venezuela.
Directed by ANABEL RODRÍGUEZ RÍOS Produced & Edited by SEPP R. BRUDERMANN Written by ANABEL RODRÍGUEZ RÍOS - SEPP R. BRUDERMANN Direction of Photography JOHN MÁRQUEZ Sound MARCO SALAVERRÍA - GHERMAN GIL Sound Design DANIEL TURINI - FERNANDO HENNA - HENRIQUE CHIURCIU Music NASCUY LINARES Story Editors RICARDO ACOSTA - THOMAS KRAG Executive Producers SEPP R. BRUDERMANN - CLAUDIA LEPAGE Co-Producers ARASH T. RIAHI - MALU CAMPOS - JOE TORRES - NANCY HARRISON
HOW IT ALL STARTED
THE BARREL - 11minutes, 2012
The first time we went to Congo Mirador with the intention to film a unique phenomenon, the silent lightning called “Relámpago del Catatumbo”. Now, 7 years later we have a story to tell about the human condition of the Venezuelan society today, in times in which our country is devastated.
During that first trip, while waiting for the silent lightning to show up in the night sky, between rum, songs and conversations under the infinite universe, some kids approached us. They were rowing towards us in tiny improvised boats made out of thrown away oil barrels. Amongst them there was then 10 year old Luis David Villasmil - “El Catire”. This was the moment when the idea was born for “The Barrel”, a short film we shot with these kids in Congo Mirador, what we did not know, this short was just the beginning of a journey that would lead us to Sundance Film Festival many years later.
Here, for the first time for free and public: THE BARREL.
“Gran y Doloroso"
Rodrigo Blanco Calderón
“A powerful image of forced exile, of people being eaten out of house and home by foul waters and phony officials [...]
the embodiment of an entire nation"
The Hollywood Reporter
“Visually immersive to the community and its passage of time,"
“A painfully beautiful and urgent film. Made with the commitment and determination of warrior-filmmakers, fighting for dignity and freedom with their best weapon: their camera."
Emmy Award winner, AMPAS Member and Internationally renowned Film Editor, Story Editor, Creative/Editorial Consultant.
“A Masterful Debut"
“A dystopian fairy tale, which we should all heed, lest we fall under a curse of venal mismanagement"
Christoffer Llevellyn Reed
Hammer to Nail
“Everything about Once Upon a Time in Venezuela feels like it’s made
by an insider."
Behind The Rabbit Productions
Screen Daily 15th January 2021
Hollywood Reporter, 6th January 2021
Hollywood Reporter, 3rd March 2020
El Diario, 28th August 2020
France 24, 28th August 2020
Agencia EFE, 28th August 2020
Sumarium, 28th August 2020
La Vanguardia 28th August 2020
Techo Del Mundo, June 13th 2020
EL NACIONAL, Venezuela, December 21st 2019
Solzy at the Movies, January 27th 2020
Remezcla, February 7th 2020
Ian Thomas Malone, February 2nd 2020
FilmThreat, February 4th 2020