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Ana Maria Ferro

"My grandmother carries the secret of a dead daughter and her memory is buried in the oblivion. When her past is confronted, a voice emerges from the ruins and our Lineage becomes memory about the forgotten from the history of violence in Colombia."

Ana Maria Ferro's short film Lineage was the big winner in the Best Experimental Documentary category at Experimental Brasil 2024.


1-How did the idea for the film "Estirpe" come about and what was the production process like?


The idea was born from family issues, which involved my grandparents on my father's side, an imaginary in my head that was deconstructed and entangled by not being able to face what I did not want to see or understand. The research process marked a path that allowed us to win several calls for creation in Colombia, the constant dialogue and belief in the project led us to the transformation of the project into what it is now.

The step by step derived from filling uncertainties and breaking the canon of doing, to follow the instinct and pass every obstacle.

2-In "Estirpe," you delve deeply into the memory of the Colombian armed conflict. How was it to approach this delicate and historical theme?

It is never easy to approach war stories, there is always fear of not being cautious enough with the testimonies and with people, especially,because the lives of the people themselves are the unofficial history that surrounds this country. In a country like mine, it has been transformed, hurted, even after the war, and these testimonies have been used to achieve fame or colonialist and extractivist exploitation.


I consider that this work with people is in continuous process, the story of Estirpe, more than personal encloses, It is the story of a people who opened their testimonies and hearts to be able to reflect on the screen. The short film is of them and for them, for that reason, we want to return that stage of war so marked to Yacopí, so that future generations learn that the construction of our world, a world of miscegenation, must accept and embrace the difference, but above all not to hurt each other anymor

3-"Estirpe" presents dialogues between the living and the dead, creating a connection between generations. What was the purpose behind this approach and how did you develop it during production?

The purpose and approach to a narrative between the living and the dead is born from the process of creation. From the beginning, even without knowing Yacopí, the family history was haunted by a ghost that no one talked about her, that remained silent because no one wanted to talk about it. The shouting secrets of my family were heard as an echo that became multiple voices. We tried to talk to the silence, which was reflected in the image, the territory and the face of my grandmother. However, the constant desire to obtain an answer made us invoke my aunt... An invocation that was permanent and was heard in the voices of the testimonies of the people, this idea makes us generate an anonymity and a permanent way to give voice to those we did not hear and did not want to hear in our society.

4-When dealing with such complex themes as the Colombian armed conflict, what were the biggest challenges you faced during the creation process of "Estirpe"?

Dealing with war is something that only those who live it can know and it is incredible to see how the people we talked to do not consider themselves victims but survivors of a period of war in our country, that shows me a different form of resilience and construction of what happened in Yacopí and several regions of the country. It is very hard to know that Colombia has been bled, mistreated and abandoned. The lack of dignity towards our people is a whim of the government to enrich empty minds that seem to have no soul. The arrogance of our leaders does not allow them to have a real vision of the country's treasure, turning the magic we have into a spell and a place stopped in time where the same history is repeated with different names and turning us into figures.


The biggest challenge is to believe in that hope that those voices that have suffered older generations still have, the real challenge is how after having this history in our hands we manage to transform ourselves. To leave the war? I do not know if it is something we abandon, but at least I hope that those internal ghosts make catharsis and we can sow something different in this land of hidden voices and fields to bloom.

5-As a documentary filmmaker, what are the most rewarding and challenging aspects of capturing reality and real stories through the lens of the camera?

Estirpe was an enriching challenge that was strengthened by the creative "process". Through dialogue I encourage resources and forms. Everything was based on listening and understanding the territory beyond the landscape, beyond seeing a character is to understand the living history.


Through the Language of Short Film and listening to the process, the most difficult thing was not the shooting or the technical construction. The most difficult thing was the voice of my aunt, what does a dead woman sound like?

Is it right to give her a voice and have her be the voice of the dead and testimonies of the people? She was a kind of fiction, my fantasy of finding answers with someone in my family that I don't know, although I think more and more I don't know my family.


A challenge to link fiction and documentary, taking into account external signs of its construction. A fear of an ethical stance, but that gave way to understand some answers that I was not going to find in this reality.

6-You mentioned that "Estirpe" is a conversation between the living and the dead. How do you see the role of documentary cinema in preserving and transmitting memories and stories for future generations?

I do not know if the short film has that transforming force, art has power, but it is our own convictions that will allow the construction of a better country from our small edges. This film is part of the archive of this memory, a personal transformation of believing in order to create.


The future is an uncertain path, but I hope that being able to look back is the way to walk towards a better future.

7-What are your cinematic influences and how have they shaped your approach as a documentary filmmaker?

I have been believing for some time in speculative fabulation and I like those who transform reality, through these magical stories and territory. That is why references such as: Luis Patiño, Ben Rivers, Ana Vas and others make me believe in a different language although there are similar stories.


However, my national referents seem to me to be transformers of that memory and I feel that through them I can glimpse ways of communicating with deliveries of the sensory and narrative, such as: Camilo Restrepo, Laura Huertas and Juanita Onzaga.

8-How do you decide on the themes and stories to be documented in your films? Is there a specific criterion or is it more intuitive?

It is a mix between intuition and belief in the creative process.

9-In your opinion, what is the most significant impact that documentary cinema can have on today's society?

Personally, I don't know if the short film had the expected social impact. Although the greatest growth has been as a person, being able to build this story with friends and family was a process of knowing how to love and let go, of sharing with people a path that separates between seas but that brings us together for a creation or with simple thoughts. Despite all the pain that this narrative carries, there was a lot of love to do it, if we talk about an impact, perhaps the biggest was for myself, to be able to move forward, without understanding the future or the past, but moving forward.


So thanks to those who were there, to those who left and to those who stayed to continue making films.

10-How do you handle the ethical and moral responsibility of portraying real people and their stories in your documentaries?

I think that is the most difficult thing, the ethical and moral responsibility, especially because of the imaginary that people have when they are told that a film is being made, where they believe in high budgets and fame. The extractivist process through which the narratives go through can affect a territory, I still don't know how, not to generate great expectations or the idealization of the audiovisual, but at least it is to return the film to the territory and hoping that the whole process with them has been clear and coherent enough for the creation.

11-Finally, what are your upcoming projects and themes that you are eager to explore in the future?

I do not believe in the present or in the past as a process of hope, so I want to address the future, the history in my country seems a loop of no end, it is time to bring out urban mutants, miscegenation as a unitary form and genetic reconstructions to exist, of course, where the basis of learning is the past, to be able to deconstruct learned fears.

Screenshot 2024-04-03 at 18-15-23 LINEAGE.png
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