“Cholitas” is about a group of exceptional women. They are Elena, Cecilia, Liita, Lidia and Dora. They are indigenous women, cholitas. For years, they worked as mountain cooks or porters in the Andes Mountains. During that time, they saw tourists returning happily from summits in which they had never been. That made them wonder what was up there, what the top hid. And they decided to climb, without leaving aside their colorful skirts, and carrying the aguayo as a backpack.
After crowning several mountains of more than 6000m in Bolivia, they had to face a bigger goal: climbing the Aconcagua Mount.
The filming of this documentary has been one of the longest filmings we remember. It started in September, when we accompanied Liita and Dora to Ladek Mountain Film Festival. Then we spent entire December in the Bolivian cities of El Alto and La Paz, filming the daily life of the five protagonists. In January we traveled to Mendoza, from where the expedition that took us to the top of America, the Aconcagua, started. There we lived three intense weeks in the wildest nature. After reaching the cholitas’ dream, in February we returned to Bolivia to spend the last filming days.
Now we have another long way to go… that of postproduction.
Each time the Cholitas Escaladoras de Bolivia want to climb a mountain, they ask permission from the Pachamama (Mother Earth) through the ch’alla, an ancient Aymara ritual. On it, they give her food and drink: they hide coca leaves under the stones and sprinkle them with alcohol. It is their way of thank Mother Earth for all that she offers us.
Jaime Murciego came to ARENA comunicación audiovisual more than two years ago, to tell us about the Cholitas Escaladoras de Bolivia. Inmediatly we fall in love with the life of these indigenous women, with their story of struggle and overcoming. From the first moment we were moved by their search for freedom in the mountains, and we decided to accompany them in their dream: to reach the top of Aconcagua. We have spent two intense years of hard filmings in extreme conditions, and of long hours of editing. But the day has finally come. We are very happy to announce that, this December, “Cholitas” will have its premiere at the Mendi Film Festival. THANKS to all who have accompanied us on this trip, you have made this film possible.
We share here the oficial trailer:
We start the year with great news.
From 24th January, “Cholitas” will be on Golem theatres!
It will be screened in Golem Yamaguchi (Pamplona) and Golem Alhóndiga (Bilbao).
And soon we will announce screenings in other places, stay tuned!
Since we premiered “Cholitas” have not stopped happening positive things: jury prize at the festival in which we premiered, exciting visit of its main characters to our land, selection in international festivals, broadcasting of the movie on televisions from here to Japan (Movistar and NHK have bought it) We are very happy, as always, but this time in a special way. This is an endearing story of some lovely women. The more our movie is seen, the further the message and the vital, positive and transformative energy will go.
This month is going to be the premiere of the next documentary film produced by Arena Comunicación Audiovisual, Dardara.
In Dardara there are two very powerful universes: the Berri Txarrak universe and Marina Lameiros universe. Berri Txarrak, a rock band with 25 years of success behind them, decides to disband at the peak of their career. To say goodbye to their fans they offer one last world tour. Marina Lameiro, a filmmaker with an attentive eye and authentic narrative, accompanies them. Marina reveals to us the creative universe of Gorka Urbizu, leader of the band, and that of diverse people who in places as distant as Germany, Mexico, Japan, the United States are intensely moved by the music of a group that makes rock in Basque. The film, produced by Arena with Itziar García Zubiri leading, will open the Punto de Vista International Documentary Film Festival and from there it will begin its tour in theaters and festivals. The world of Berri Txarrak, made into cinema by Lameiro, meets a universal audience. You can follow their route on their website.