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Habemus Guatemalan Cinema! Gasolina, Best Latin American Movie

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

It is 8:00 a.m. in Guatemala, and someone called me while I was still sleeping, my Mom picked up the phone and I just heard that she started crying excited because she got good news that they (her brother and Staff) won the Latin Horizons award.

Charakotel , a rural Guatemalan blogger living in Denmark,congratulated Julio from his distant location, and briefly described the plot:

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.

Such achievement, to produce a film in Guatemala is an accomplishement itself, because of the reduced, or lack of, institutional support in arts, financial obstacles, the so called "crabs" (those who do not allow you to progress), etc, etc. The award was double deserved.

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!

6 comments

  • “Everyone under thirty-five is thrilled! Smiles and nice comments everywhere!” Some of us, over thirty-five (by a few hours o centuries)- are also very happy, very proud, and toast and dance.
    Y no olvidemos la gasolina es explosiva!

  • ana

    felicidades! es un gran orgullo para todos los guatemaltecos. Yo vivo en España y me da mucho gusto recibir noticias como estas, en lugar de las tipicas de violencia, corrupción etc. I am proud!

  • Renata Avila

    Those over 35 too, sorry about that Luis!

    Sì Ana, buenísimo! Hay van a la Casa de las Américas donde se presentará!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Dorian Caballeros

    Felicitaciones, aun que el acenso fue dificil bien merecido mucha, sigan rompiendo esquemas en esta sociadad cubierta de paradigmas y velado por politicos, enagenados con el futbol, sin darle apoyo a la gente que tiene talento, me gustaria formar parte de esta nueva apertura lamentablemente es mucha pisto para la inversion supongo… pero si se pudo una vez se puede las veces que los guatemaltecos lo deseemos… felicitaciones y que viva GUATE…

  • I have done a little review of Gasolina as well. You can also find the film dossier, poster, and trailer in my film recommendation at:

    http://antiguadailyphoto.com/2008/10/27/gasolina-a-new-film-by-julio-hernandez-cordon/

  • Marvin

    Hi all,

    I’m a Guatemalan living in NYC. I support all that is Guatemala, arts, music, cinema, blogs, etc. Just want to say thanks to all the people like Renata Avila, Rudy from http://www.antiguadailyphoto.com for taking their time an effort to bring us our daily dose of Guatemalan 411(Info)… Great Job I’m a big fan. THANKS!

    With that being said, does anyone know when Gasolina will be playing in the USA? Particularly in NY, I can’t seem to find a target date or any info on the debut in the USA.
    Check this out, it was a good turn out! I never knew there were so many Guatemalans in NY!
    http://feriachapina.com.gt/gale_ny.htm

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