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Dancing with Closed Eyes

Young Chana
Young Chana
 
Self-taught Gypsy dancer, Antonia Santiago Amador, known as La Chana, is 67 years old, living happily in Catalonia (Spain). In the 1960s and 1970s, La Chana was one of the biggest stars in the flamenco world, surprising audiences worldwide with her innovative style, speed, and inventive use of rhythm.

Peter Sellers, with whom she features in The Bobo (1967) invited her to Hollywood. Instead, she suddenly disappeared. As we follow the backstage drama leading to La Chana’s final seated performance in 2013, she unravels her turbulent life and reveals the secret that cut short her performing career: for 18 years she was a victim of domestic abuse at the hands of her first husband, a fellow Gypsy and flamenco guitarist.

This film brings us under the skin, into the mind and spirit, of a talented Gypsy with a vivid imagination. Sensuous, vulnerable, but seemingly invincible, she is now teaching a new generation of flamenco artists notably Karime Amaya, the grand-niece of Carmen Amaya. La Chana brings us into the essence of her passion and reveals an inspiring story that crystallizes the clashes and contradictions in her life.

This documentary should awaken respect for Gypsies, and celebrate the resilience of a determined woman. Gypsy culture is insular, and in-depth awareness of women's lives is unaccessible to media or portrayed stereotypically. Beyond questions surrounding music as therapy or domestic violence, this film for La Chana is a chance to extol the mysteries of being.

 

La Chana and Lucija
La Chana and Lucija

Producer/Director: Lucija Stojevic
Lucija Stojevic was educated in The University of Edinburgh (MA) and Prague Film School. In 2006, she established Noctiluca Media Production GmbH in Vienna and, in 2014, Noon Films S.L in Barcelona. She has produced over 30 short format documentaries for The Guardian, The New York Times and Global Post. Her work has also been displayed in exhibitions in Austria, Screens of Barcelona/ LOOP (Spain) and The Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Associate Producer/Outreach Director: Deirdre Towers
For questions regarding US screening, contact:  deirdretowers@aol.com

Executive Producers: Susan Muska & Greta Olafsdottir of Bless Bless Productions who produced Edie & Thea: A Very Long EngagementThe Brandon Teena StoryWomen, The Forgotten Face of War, Through the Lens http://blessblessproductions.com/

See the trailer and read more: http://dancingwithclosedeyes.com/

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We appreciate your support for this film, now in production. TVE (Spanish public TV) is a co-producer/broadcaster. The project has participated in the European MEDIA training initiative ESoDoc in 2013 and was pitched at Documentary in Europe. It was  selected for the project market of East Doc Platform 2014, and as one of 16 projects selected for Speed Meetings with the Industry at Docs Barcelona 2014. We are now assessing the possibilities to make it a Spanish-French-US co production.

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NYWIFT programs, screenings and events are supported, in part, by grants from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts