In love with NOA, Carmina Balaguer slept in the mountains to bring cinema to a school

The shots manage to capture the depth of the landscape.

The Catalan filmmaker Carmina Balaguer inaugurated the International Film Festival of the Heights on Friday with her first film, “Lascreen Andina”, the film in which she filmed the Jujuy Mobile Cinema group on their journey on foot through the mountains to bring cinema to an isolated rural school, an experience that led her to “a new level of consciousness”.

“My relationship with the NOA (Argentine Northwest) is very close. From a very young age I have felt a very strong bond with all the lands that run through the Andean mountain range. For this reason, South America has always been a territory that has interested me greatly and even before After living in Argentina, I already knew the NOA as a visitor. And living in Argentina – in Buenos Aires -, before living in Jujuy, I had traveled several times,” Balaguer told Télam in the framework of the 8th edition of the film show , which will run until September 11.

Website SE

The director and producer born in Barcelona settled in Buenos Aires in 2013 as a travel chronicler for media such as National Geographic and as a Latin American correspondent for the North American media outlet The Daily Brief, Promax Global. After six years in the country, she decided to try her luck in the Quebrada de Humahuaca, where she moved to investigate and write a book about Kolla women that she is about to publish.

“This experience has transformed me in such a significant way that it naturally takes time to be integrated -said Balaguer-. There is a lot of depth in these changes. On a personal level, I stand out within a new level of awareness in terms of understanding that communication is a tool very powerful and at the same time there is a very great responsibility when it comes to generating content and also a very great potential”.

It is not only about telling stories but that these stories can have a positive impact on the territory where they are born
“It’s not just about telling stories but that these stories can have a positive impact on the territory where they are born”

The film has a really impressive bill from northern Argentina. The shots manage to capture the depth of the landscape and have memorable moments, such as the morning, when they woke up, in a mountain cave where they had to sleep and that, at 4,500 meters above sea level, shows the clouds as if they were a cotton rug under your feet.

“The shoot was complex and challenging on many levels. We had to get to the school in a fourteen-hour walk in one go, for which we were prepared. However, once we were in the territory, we signed up the whole team, one to one at different times. In this way, our journey was lengthened and we had to spend the night in an improvised way”, recalled the director.

The crossing culminated in the area of ​​Yaquispampa (to the south of Tilcara), where the rural school is, and agriculture and cattle are the way of subsistence of the locals, as explained by the area doctor, who is half hour walk from the houses. The area is so isolated that in an emergency it takes no less than 24 hours to reach the first town.

The crossing had as its culminating point the area of ​​Yaquispampa to the south of Tilcara where the rural school is located.
The crossing culminated in the area of ​​Yaquispampa (south of Tilcara), where the rural school is located.

– What struck you the most?
– First of all, the fact that distances are so relative. At the time of starting this journey I felt very far from my origins because I was living on the other side of the world. But accessing this isolated place, even for people who were from the same area, made me redefine and break the schemes of the concept of distance. I was also struck by the tenacity and vocation that exist as engines of life. I think the characters in the story represent it and when these two words are experienced you can get where you want and also collaborate with the world and society. In this sense, I think that these qualities not only apply to the characters in the story, but also to the film crew.

– What did you see that cinema brings to communities so far from the metropolis?
– The arrival of the cinema not only implies the value of viewing and projection itself, but also takes advantage of it at an educational level. Schools can do pre and post work. The teachers and educators carry out exercises with the children to prepare for the arrival of the cinema and after the projection. In cases such as the Yaquispampa school and communities that receive very few visits, it is really a very relevant event, since it brings together people who live far away and are hours away on foot, but who are part of that community and come together especially to share that moment.

The arrival of the cinema not only implies the value of viewing and projection itself, but also takes advantage of it at an educational level.
“The arrival of the cinema not only implies the value of viewing and projection itself, but also takes advantage of it at an educational level”

– An individual and collective impact.
– It is not only about telling stories but that these stories can have a positive impact on the territory where they are born. This is actually happening with the film, which is generating debate, interest and reflection. The public leaves very mobilized, which was one of the objectives of the project. At the local level, it is being used in a very profound way, resulting in an educational and human exercise, which is going through the entire province, highlighting the great work of rural teachers and the cinematographic potential of Jujuy. It is especially gratifying for me to feel that a story that you tell with vocation and tenacity can collaborate with society and fills me with commitment for future projects that come.

Carmina Balaguer Catalan filmmaker
Carmina Balaguer, Catalan filmmaker.

Leave a Comment