«Nélida: A story that intertwines humor and sensitivity to address overlooked social issues»
During the latest edition of the José Ignacio International Film Festival (JIIFF), the short film ‘Nélida’ was selected as the audience favorite. This captivating story, which combines drama and comedy, struck a chord with the audience as it addressed themes such as loneliness and the pandemic. In this interview, the team behind the short film shares with us details and reflections on its creation.
Using humor to tackle “sensitive” topics:
According to Federico Cetta, producer of the short film, the blend between drama and comedy in “Nélida” served as a powerful tool to address intricate themes from a more relaxed and creative standpoint. Meanwhile, Marina Artigas, co-director, reflected on how humor manages to seep into even the most dramatic situations in life, and how incorporating this element into fiction was a way to mirror reality.
The audience’s recognition:
Federico saw winning the Audience Award as a well-deserved recognition of the decision to embrace, amidst many other ‘popular’ themes, a beautiful and meaningful story which needed to be told. Meanwhile, Marina mentioned that the true gift was witnessing the audience’s enjoyment during the screening. Additionally, Celeste Lois, co-director, highlighted the profound silence that filled the room at the end of the film, which served as tangible evidence of the emotional impact it had evoked.
The standout aspect of «Nélida»:
In order to grasp the unique connection that «Nélida» was able to establish with the audience, it is important to acknowledge the synergy of various elements in its production. Federico highlighted that it all began with a theater play script that was adapted into a short film format, with the addition of Celeste as co-director and an exceptional team. Celeste further added that the film resonates with the viewers by exploring the intricacies of relationships and presenting possible paths in the process of aging. She also emphasized the team’s effort and dedication in every area, from art to music, to produce a film with love and responsibility.
Depiction of older characters and the significance of love in the later stages of life:
«Nélida» presented challenges in depicting elderly characters within a love story. It is well-known that society often undervalues the importance of love and relationships in the lives of older people. Marina reflected on the discrimination against the elderly in our society and emphasized that there is still a need to build a more inclusive environment for this stage of life. Celeste further stated that old age is often overlooked in our society, and the challenge laid in portraying a woman whose liveliness had been diminished due to the isolation imposed by a society that allows little room for living to the fullest.
The role of cinema in raising awareness of social issues:
In this regard, Marina emphasized that cinema, along with performing arts and expressive disciplines in general, has the duty to provoke reflection on current events and the era in which we live. Film, in particular, possesses the unique ability to approach these issues from a poetic, sensory, and immersive perspective.
On her part, Celeste believes that cinema is both a political act and an act of love. The process of constructing a film is crucial, as it involves a multitude of individuals who prioritize content rather than the form. The goal is to uncover the truth and find the most suitable manner of expressing it. Each film invites reflection; it is the journey of one person that then becomes the journey of many, all committed to the truth embedded within the story being told. Cinema becomes a powerful tool in bringing this message to the audience.
One of the most remarkable aspects of cinema as an artistic medium is that the viewer, as they settle in to watch a film, embarks on that journey with their own personal story. The lingering question at the end of any film requires a viewer willing to reflect, discuss, and expand its scope. The creation of films is an incredibly powerful tool for promoting reflection, as it transforms us individually and empowers us to make changes in the world we live in.
At Reducto, we feel incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to engage in a conversation with the creators of «Nélida». We hold a strong belief that a considerable portion of what made this film a valuable story lies in its sociocultural role within the audiovisual sphere. In simpler terms, the stories we share help us to improve as a community.