Recipient of the 2009 Sundance Documentary Directing Award for her film “El General,” Natalia Almada‘s most recent film “El Velador” premiered at New Directors/New Films and the Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight. Her previous credits include “All Water Has a Perfect Memory,” an experimental short film that received international recognition; “Al Otro Lado,” her award-winning debut feature documentary about immigration, drug trafficking and corrido music. Almada’s films have screened at Documenta13, The Museum of Modern Art, The Guggenheim Museum and The 2008 Whitney Biennial. All three feature documentaries have broadcast on the award-winning series POV. Almada has received the MacArthur, Guggenheim, USA Artists, Alpert and MacDowell fellowships. She graduated with a Masters in Fine Arts in photography from the Rhode Island School of Design and currently lives in Mexico City.
Natalia Almada is currently in post pro- duction on her narrative feature “Todo Lo Demás”, which was funded in part by the MacArthur Fellowship and Eficine. It was written/edited at the MacDowell Colony, the Cannes Film Festival’s Cinefondation and the Headlands Center for the Arts. The film stars Academy Award-nominated Adriana Barraza.
“Todo Lo Demas” is inspired by Hanna Arendt’s idea that bureaucracy is one of the worst forms of violence because it “makes functionaries and mere cogs in the administrative machinery out of men,” dehumanizing them. After 35 years working as a clerk in a government office, Doña Flor has become such a cog, invisible to herself. Cloaked in solitude and routine, she has even suppressed the loss of her daughter who drowned years ago. As her retirement approaches the walls of bureaucracy that have sheltered her from her pain begin to crumble. Doña Flor’s sense of self begins to awaken in parallel with the country beginning to erupt from excessive violence and corruption. When her cat, her sole companion, suddenly dies she is jolted into reality. She goes to the pool seeking solace in the water, but is unable to dive in. Instead she is revitalized by a gesture of compassion from another woman at the pool.
Winning Project: El Velador