24/10/2018.- The Spanish filmmaker Iciar Bollain, one of the Honorary Spike-winners in the 63rd edition of Seminci, presented on Wedsnesday 24 Oct. her latest film Yuli, which screened at Cines Broadway in fest section Spanish Cinema.
Yuli tells the story of successful Cuban dancer Carlos Acosta, who plays his adult self in the movie. When she received the proposal to make this film, Bollain accepted for several reasons. The first one was the fact that “the story is so atypical: here is a kid who does not like dancing but is encouraged by his father to become a dancer.” To this we should add Bollain’s special connection with Cuba, the country where the action is set. The filmmaker also emphasizes her wish to recount a small piece from Cuba’s most recent history through the eyes of Carlos and his family: “I thought it was really interesting, because these people have experienced all those events and their own history runs parallel to that of the country they were born in.”
Estrangement, one of the regular topics in Bollain’s filmography, is also present in Yuli. “Carlos travels a lot for professional reasons, but he is always yearning for home.” The filmmaker points out that Acosta could easily have founded his own ballet company in London, but instead he founded it in Havana.
The film, which garnered an ex aequo award for Best Screenplay at San Sebastian, constituted a big challenge for Bollain: not only did it involve a thorough construction of story and characters, like the rest of her films, but it moreover had to include the dance part. The camera follows the dancers on stage and the film viewers enjoy a vantage point as they never held before. “We wondered what kind of a food pairing fiction and dance would make: well, it appears that it’s a tasty one that causes no indigestion,” she humourously concluded.