You can read a lot about many "first places" on rankings by Guatemala: corruption, poverty, low literacy rates and violence against women. That is why bloggers and the artist community were thrilled when we finally had great news. We won the Best Latin American Movie award at the San Sebastian Festival in Spain. Actually we did not. Guatemalan young film producer, Julio Hernandez did, with his film "Gasolina".
Everyone under thirty-five is thrilled! Smiles and nice comments everywhere!
The most interesting detail is that recently awarded films do not portray Guatemala as a Paradise, as a perfect, happy place, but rather show different realities. It was the second film in the year to be awarded. The first to recently report that a Guatemalan movie had received an award at the San Sebastian film festival was one of crew member's relatives, Blogger Jacri :
Son las 8:00 de la mañana hora de Guatemala y entra una llamada yo en ese momento todavía estaba durmiendo y mi mama contesta el teléfono luego solo escucho que ella empieza a llorar de la emoción al recibir la noticia desde España diciéndole de que habían ganado a la categoría en la que estaban nominados Horizontes Latinos
Haber logrado realizarla en Guatemala supone ya un triunfo, por la escasa -o nula- presencia institucional en el apoyo al arte, los obstáculos financieros, los cangrejos, etcétera, etcétera. El galardón es, entonces, doblemente merecido.
Also from Brasil, Guatemalan poet spending his year as artist in Residence in San Pablo was the second to report it, and dedicated a space on his blog, with a meaningful tittle: Little Faith: Latin American Horizons :
Este merecido premio le dará la resonancia que merece a la película de nuestro querido Julio, al mismo tiempo que podrá poner en los ojos y oídos de muchos las imágenes y sonidos de la tan cacareada Guatemala de posguerra, con sus juventudes perdidas e incendiarias. Desde ya me pongo a ver cómo traemos ese largometraje para el Brasil, donde de seguro disfrutarán tan particular historia y la espléndida forma en que Julio la cuenta.
This much deserved award will give a voice to the film of our beloved Julio, and at the same time it will present before many eyes and ears the images and sounds of the troubled postwar Guatemala, with its youth lost, incendiary. From now on I will lind the way to bring the film to Brasil, where people will enjoy for sure the singular story and the splendid way that Julio recreated it.
Thanks to the honest effort of a bunch of young Guatemalans (the actors where almost all teenage amateur actors) and a great Director, WE will share our city, our stories, our reality, with many others in the world. It is not a perfect place, but it is a place that still has some corners left where dreams can become realities. Hopefully you will see Gasolina in your city! Habemus Guatemalan Cinema!