Marta and her colleagues are shooting a documentary in the desert of Africa. One kilometre after crossing the border, they meet five men armed with Karasnicov who force them to turn off the road. During the kidnapping, Marta’ first fear is to be raped, and in the face of the helplessness felt by her companions who can do absolutely nothing, Marta struggles between allowing herself to be raped so that she is not killed or fighting to find death so that this situation ends as soon as possible.
Fronteras is a story told from three points of view as a flash-forward that explores the fears and how to fit into the same situation that have each of the main characters.
based on a true story
Travelling to Africa was always my big dream, and in 2004 I was able to fulfil it. I was given the opportunity to shoot a documentary that portrayed all the tribes we encountered in our passage, many of them located in remote places. During that trip, which lasted almost a month, many things happened to us. We were in danger many times, but without a doubt, the hardest situation I found myself in was the one I try to tell in this story.
When a woman finds herself in such a situation, the first thing she thinks about is that she is going to be raped. My surprise was when I learned that my classmates hadn’t even thought of it. I realized then how lonely I was, not only because I knew they couldn’t do anything about what was foreseeable to happen, but because for me, and I believe that for all women, in a situation like this, being raped is the first fear that arises even before death. This short film aims to reflect on the different points of view and how we react to the same event. A woman in such a situation reflects on these three possibilities: “Maybe nothing will happen…”, “They’ll rape me, I’d better leave myself so that they don’t hurt me” and “I don’t intend to put up with this… I prefer to fight even if they kill me”.
project supported by JAIME CHÁVARRI
As a good Godfather of this project Jaime Chávarri has supervised from the beginning the script of FRONTIERS. Thanks to his enormous experience in the cinematographic world and in concrete the dominion that he has at the time of working the characters, we have been able to analyze together the text and personally to benefit from all his indications and advices.
Through the camera and light, we will seek to portray the suffocating situation and each of the subjugated emotions experienced by the protagonists.
The space portrayed will become yet another character in the story. The scorching sun of equatorial Africa and the dryness will be reflected in the tones and backgrounds that accompany the characters throughout the story.
During the quieter narrative spaces, there will tend to be an absence of movement, allowing the situation to develop within the painting or very gentle accompanying movements, while as the narration evolves, the camera will move out of the tripod generating greater dynamism, but without being too violent.
It will be a breathed camera, which generates a certain tension, a certain uneasiness, but which does not take on too much protagonism that could distract the spectator.
The closeness to the characters will become fundamental from a moment on. Each of the plots is told from a point of view and this will be reflected in the use of the camera that will bring us closer to the main character in each moment.
The height of the camera will seek to be in the angle of vision of the protagonists, but the kidnappers will tend to be portrayed from a slightly contrasting angle, being able to take to the limit at some point to give rise to a feeling of greater uneasiness and oppression.
We are in Africa and the sun punishes anyone who dares to question its hardness. The few shadows that can be seen are dense in the face of the intensity of the light.
The contrast between the parts directly bathed by the sun and those that are hidden is very high, despite which we never fail to see clearly the faces, and the features of each character or each texture. It is clear the hardness of a warm light, clearly marked by dust, fruit of the aridity of the terrain.
tones and textures
The warm tones of the terrain predominate, intertwined with notes of colour in the wardrobe of the natives, who although they distance themselves from the earthy and almost monochrome garments of the Westerners, with a few exceptions do not transit the saturated tones. The cotton fabrics, impregnated with powder, seem rough to the eye, the earth floods everything and the metals of vehicles and weapons, contrast with the woods in beads and traditional details of the premises.
From the art department, the main objective will be to provide the short film with the purely realistic aesthetics that its crude history requires. In order to do this, we will rely on the locations and intervene in them to recreate the desert environment of Ethiopian geography.
The all-terrain vehicle will be of great importance in our history. It is the one that transports us from one point of the narrative to another, where all these points of view converge. It will be set acquiring the colors of the desert of Almeria, and inside we will see the luggage and elements that have accompanied our characters throughout their journey, showing the time that has passed since they began their adventure.
As for the treatment of colour As for the treatment of colour, we will carry out a chromatic evolution in accordance with the very peculiar structure of our history. Thus, despite the fact that the whole short film will be included in a common colour palette, this will vary slightly depending on the point of view in which we find ourselves in the narration.
The general colour palette will be given by the real locations of the Almería desert: we will have earthy and warm colours ranging from cream to the most orange ochres.
During the narration and dreaming of Marta, the only woman among our protagonists, the yellows will be enhanced and transformed into more orange and reddish colours, reflecting her feeling of danger.
When we see the story from the point of view of Angel, the European foreigner who thinks he can solve everything with money, we will have a small variation in colour, and the yellows will tend to be greener.
When we immerse ourselves in Abdulhak’s vision we will see a chromatic atmosphere with light blue touches. We will thus create a clear distinction between his vision and those of Angel and Martha, whose palettes are analogous and see Abdulhak as the enemy, when his only intention is to help his people survive.
Hiromi’s theme will define a character with a markedly adventurous, brave and risky character: Hiromi is a determined, intelligent and empowered woman who is not afraid to face adversity. This theme will undergo different alterations during the musical narration, taking center stage at certain times and sometimes facing the countertheme, competing with him to win the narrative battle.
On the other hand, Abdulhak is a complex character in the film and shows two faces. On the one hand, the face that Hiromi imagines defines him as cruel and ruthless, a man who does not hesitate to use force to achieve his interests, dominated by primary instincts and animals. On the other hand, there is his true face, a protector of his people, familiar and pious, who fights to save his fellow men from death.
These two faces will be defined and argued from the music using in two different ways the same musical motive. A first dark and tense version, disordered and provided with dissonances that will act as a countertheme facing the brave and determined theme of Marta. And a second version more complete, luminous, harmonious that will attribute to the character a definition totally opposite to the first one.
At the same time, the line of credits will be set to music, marking a slow and positive rhythm, emphasizing the luminosity of the desert and a nod to the musical sounds of Kenya, without giving any clue to the plot of the script.
marta: ERIKA SANZ
emilio: RAFAEL ROJAS
mario: ALEJANDRO VALENCIANO
ángel: BRUNO LASTRA
abdulhak: ADAO MENDY MARIGNOU
leul: ANSOUMANA FICOU
pitta: JOSEPH EWONDE JUNIOR
kinoro: IBRAHIMA MBENGUE THIOMBANE
screenwriting | director | editor: VIOLETA BARCA-FONTANA
production manager: LUZ ALDANA
DP: MANUEL DEL MORAL
art director: ALBA ENGEL
sound: SERGIO LÓPEZ-ERAÑA
sound design: JORDI RABASCALL
wardrobe: NOELIA LEBRATO
makeup: LAURA MAGAN CALVO
music: ENRIQUE G. REQUENA
1st AD: JOSEMARI MARTINEZ
2nd AD: MARTA CASIELLES
script supervisor: REBECA ALONSO
making of: JAVIER GARCÍA SORIA
production company: VELA LLATINA S.L.