La Chana

About This Project

Genre: Documentary

Estimated length: 55′ and 82′
Director/producer: Lucija Stojevic

Producer: Deirdre Towers
Delegate producer: Noon Films SL
Co-producers: Greta Olafsdottir and Susan Muska for Bless Bless Productions (Iceland/USA)

In Collaboration with: RTVE, TV3, ICEC, IFC
Fiscal Sponsor: New York Women in Film & Television
Completion: 2016

International sales (US & Canada): East Village Entertainment

World sales: Cat & Docs

“I was born to dance.  I would lay awake all night long, repeating the rhythms in my head until they became a part of me.” -La Chana

 

Antonia Santiago Amador, known as La Chana, is 67 years old. She is helped onto an empty stage and settles into her chair with difficulty. Then her feet begin to move. With closed eyes, she combines intricate rhythms at an ever-faster pace. Her body and soul finally succumb to the beat. She comes alive.

 

In the 1960s and 1970s La Chana was one of the biggest stars in the flamenco world. The self-taught Gypsy dancer rose to the scene at the height of the Golden Era of flamenco, surprising audiences worldwide with a style that was innovative: rhythmic combinations that were nontraditional and a speed, an expression and a power while dancing that were unprecedented.  Her shows were advertised on larger-than-life sized billboards across Madrid.  Peter Sellers, with whom she features in the film The Bobo (1967) invited her to Hollywood.  But she didn’t go. Instead, at the zenith of her career, she suddenly disappeared from the scene.

 

As we follow the backstage drama leading to La Chana’s final seated performance in 2013, she unravels her turbulent life story and reveals the secret that cut short her promising career: for 18 years she was a victim of domestic abuse at the hands of her first husband.

 

La Chana isn’t about regret for a life that could have been but about La Chana’s strength to keep overcoming difficult life circumstances that are. It’s a story about the process and power of creation, about love, friendship and re-invention. La Chana takes us deep into the essence of her passion and reveals a poetic and inspiring story that crystallizes the inevitable clashes between her life’s extremes and contradictions; between the artist on stage and the woman behind the scenes.

FESTIVALS & AWARDS
FESTIVALS:
IDFA 2016
Flamenco Biennale The Netherlands 2017
DocPoint Helsinki 2017
DocPoint Tallinn 2017
Tempo Documentary Film Festival 2017
Thessaloniki Documentary Festival 2017
Assen International Film Festival Women & Film 2017
Vera Film Festival 2017
Málaga Film Festival 2017

AWARDS:

VPRO IDFA Audience Award 2016

Director/Producer: Lucija Stojevic

Producer: Deirdre Towers

Co-producers (USA): Susan Muska & Greta Olafsdottir (Bless Bless Productions)

Production Coordinator: Sandra Olsina

Documentalist & Assistant Director: Lucia Sances

Associate producer, Expert Advice & Coordination: Beatriz del Pozo

Director of Photography: Samuel Navarrete

Camera: Carlos Villaoslada, Ferran Gassiot, Lucija Stojevic and Xavi Sibecas

Editing: Domi Parra, Irene Coll

Sound Design: Alejandro Castillo

Motion Graphics and Graphic Design: Andrés Bartos

Original Music composed by: Ernesto Briceño

Fiscal Sponsor: New York Women in Film & Television

A big thank you to the following people who made a donation to the documentary:

Avi Astor, Daniel Buckley, Marta López Fernández, Anna Pivovarchuk, Vera Kühn, Maribinty Solé Auguets, Miquel Nacher Palones, Jasmina Car, Marc Hermann, Marie Caroline Mayer, Daniela de Marchi, Luca Volpi, Monica Ceida, Angels Rosinach, Alexander Spalek, Patricia del Pozo, Jennifer Baljko, Galia Saravalli, Audrey & Sylvie Sicot, Lorena Aguilar, Andrea Mendoza & Maria Teresa Centeno, Sergi Barreno & Nuria Baiges, Laura Vinyet, Elisabet Alonso & Laia Salvador, Camille Steyer, Alberto, Mateo & Ana Fiocchi, Belen Bravo, Judith Requena, Tere Porras & Xavier Casasampere, Alex Nieto, Laura Llopart, Anna Xu, Yaiza Alemany, Nuria Ontiveros, Laura Gascó, Nuria Altamirano, Juliette Murekeyisone, Galia Ring, Marta Solano Martín, Yasmin Jilaihawi, Manos como Palomas (Switzerland), Carolina Santos, Arantxa Salarich, Irene Lameiro Mulet, Giuseppe Galante, Anna Palomo, Maria Àngels Rosinach, Carla Pons, Pere Mundet, Luis Garcia-Albert, Susana del Pozo, Josep Verge, Teresa Pérez Cuesta, Jeannette Castro, Leticia Perez Vereas, Alejandro Castillo, Alex de Haro, Sira López, Trini Linares, Bettina Schorr, Alicia Edith Hecht, Marga Carbonell, Irene Mundet, Marta Saleta, Clara de la Flor and Susana Medettete & Flamenco School ‘El Duende’ in Sydney, Australia, Jordi Villarubia, Beatriz del Pozo, Juanjo del Pozo, Maria Nieves, Pere-Mateu Xiberta Gómez, Joy Ngo, Silvia Gallardo, Nick Hall and Guri Scotford

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The film brings us under the skin and into the mind of La Chana, a talented Gypsy flamenco dancer as she returns to the stage to give a final seated performance after a 30-year break. Along the way, La Chana reveals the secret behind her disappearance when she was at the peak of her career.

Category
Completed, Documentary
Tags
documentary, la chana