Xavi Esteban presents ‘Perifèria’, a documentary about the urban landscape of Santa Coloma de Gramenet


From left to right: Èrika Sánchez, producer; Xavier Estéban, director; Johanna Tonini, distributor; Neus Ribera, press

  • The feature film ‘Perifèria’ (Suburbs), which premiered in the DOC. Spain section this Tuesday, is “a process comprising from the darkness of a buried memory to a contemporary light and how that past illuminates the present”, explained Xavi Esteban, director of the documentary

10/27/2020.- Xavier Valls, the forgotten architect of the Popular Plan for Santa Coloma de Gramenet, is Perifèria‘s starting point. “The documentary team knew about the existence of a Popular Plan archive and we went down into some sort of crypt where the memory of that reform proposed by Xavier Valls was buried. We wanted to prepare the archive before Xavi’s children went down so that we could prompt the conversations that you can see in the documentary”, said the director.

The feature film uses a spiraling narrative structure where several stories are intertwined: “This structure was decided at the editing level, not at the script level, which was devised as a creation of contexts from which the Popular Plan could be evoked, which is the starting point of the documentary”, the director told the audience minutes before the screening began.

Èrika Sánchez, producer of Perifèria, wanted to thank the people waiting on their seats at the Broadway Theater in Valladolid for being there “in such difficult times for the film industry and the cultural sector in general”. She also wanted to thank Xavi for the opportunity to participate in something so significant for her. “I embarked on the journey of producing this project hoping to dismantle certain myths about how the suburbs had been portrayed in films. My own grandparents lived in the suburbs and they had to struggle hard and get actively involved. To me, this film felt like a tribute”, said the producer.

The neighbors and residents of Santa Coloma de Gramenet are also part of the film directed by Xavi Esteban and Odei A.-Etxearte. “The people there were very keen for this story to be told. They think it’s very unfair that a story of empowerment and about the creation of an urban plan for their town didn’t get the recognition it deserves. They are very proud of the documentary and of the fact that a story like theirs — because at the end of the day it is something they have created — will finally see the light of day and get recognition”, added Xavi Esteban.

Posted in 65th Seminci, DOC. Spain.