USP alumni film receives award at German festival

New Delhi: The documentary La Wait ( The Wait ) received the award for Best Film at the 36 th edition of the Short Film Festival Hamburg, Kurzfilm Festival Hamburg , Germany, held virtually 5-8 November this year.
“The awards are not the focus, but they are part of the recognition process we seek,” says Danilo do Carmo, a former student in the Audiovisual course at the Department of Cinema, Radio and Television (CRT) at the School of Communications and Arts (ECA ) from USP and co-director, with Jakob Krese, of the newly awarded documentary at the German festival. The film was also selected for other festivals, such as the International Film Festival Rotterdam , in the Netherlands, and the Guanajuato International Film Festival , in Mexico. The short film portrays, in 14 minutes, the uncertain daily life of Latin American immigrants in the search for better living conditions in the United States.
The issue of the entry of Latin refugees into the United States has gained repercussion in the international press recently, with the intensification of this flow and the aggressive stance of US President Donald Trump against the reception of these groups. The film takes advantage of this scenario to bring the daily lives of refugee caravans, who risk leaving their countries. More precisely, it brings dusk and dawn in the Sonora desert, where immigrants from Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala and Mexico reside in makeshift tents waiting to board La Bestia, or “train of death”, used freight train with transportation to the North American border.
What may appear to be a contrast between the life of the refugees and the poetic and aesthetic look given by the documentary is actually part of the production’s objective, which deviates from the conventional when dealing with this theme. The sky at sunset under the tents and the little lighting coming from poles, searchlights, bonfires and car headlights make the desert environment an object of appreciation for the viewer. “It is not because people have more humble lives that they do not have a beautiful life and that it is not worth living. Having this poetic beauty is not a contradiction, it is an aesthetic recognition ”, says Danilo do Carmo. 
The issue of immigration is often related to the escape from poverty and urban violence, but in La Espera there is the situation of women fleeing domestic violence, explains Carmo. While men are portrayed as young adventurers, single mothers flee for reasons that are even less recognized by the United States government. “While the young people are there, having fun, telling horror stories of deaths on the train, while they talk about things with a certain adventure, a mother has a very difficult decision, it is a risk that she is taking and needing to decide in relation to her own children ”, describes Carmo, referring to the opening scenes of the film. 
The mother Carmo is referring to is Lilian Florinda Hernández Lopez, a descendant of the indigenous peoples of Guatemala and the main character of the short film. Carmo says that the film is part of a larger audiovisual project and that the amount of 2,000 euros received as a prize at the Hamburg festival will be applied to the production of a feature film, which will be released soon. The feature will expand the view of the theme covered in the award-winning short.
During his graduation at ECA, Danilo do Carmo did an exchange in Germany in 2013. But what was defining in his personal trajectory, according to him, came before: the opportunity to study German in high school, in Santa Catarina. At the Film University Babelsberg Konrad Wolf, he made contact with Jakob Krese. “We had an identification and we became great friends. After three years without speaking, Jakob sent me a message and, two weeks later, we were landing in Tijuana, Mexico. ”  
The production took place between December 2019 and March this year, accompanying immigrants on the crossing. “We made a caravan with the immigrants, but we made another caravan that was the documentary caravan,” says Carmo. He points out that the project had no financial support. The necessary money came from the production team’s own resources and included unpaid work. “The Brazilian reality is of small and medium-sized producers doing projects with scarce resources and their own investments, very dependent on public money”, he adds. 
According to him, Brazil “has its back to Latin America, as a legacy of an imperial and colonial dynamic”. Countries like Germany find it easier to receive productions that focus on the Latin narrative than Brazil itself, he adds. For this reason, the short has no release date in Brazil. 

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