Kori, a deaf boy, and Caramel, a camel who is his best friend, leave in a refugees camp in Sahara Desert

21 Ene Four titles compete for Best Short Documentary at the Goyas, the main Spanish film awards

by Eva Yera

Spain is getting ready for its main annual film celebration, the Goya Awards. This year, it will take place in February 4, when the best of the Spanish and Ibero-American cinema of 2016 will be recognized by the Spanish Cinema Academy.

One of these categories is Best Short Documentary, for which four titles have been nominated: ‘Talking heads’, ‘Esperanza’, ‘Palabras de Caramelo’ and ‘The Resurrection Club’. All of them have in common their social and humanistic insight while touching on very different topics.

‘Talking heads’ (Juan Vicente Córdoba, 2016) is a succession of portraits, people of all ages, backgrounds and social positions that answer two questions: “who are you?” and “what do you want from life?”. The director’s intention is to form a social portrait built on three parameters: liberty, justice and humanity. This short doc has already received two national and two international awards and has been shortlisted to compete in other nineteen festivals.


The second nominee is ‘Esperanza’ (2016) by Álvaro Longoria.  This renowned filmmaker, who spent ten days filming in North Korea for his last documentary ‘The Propaganda Game’ (2015), has now joined Greenpeace in one of their journeys across the Arctic. Longoria has come on board Esperanza (Spanish for hope), one of the largest vessels of the organization’s fleet, and interviewed the crew as they risk their lives and safety to save the Arctic, its peoples and its wildlife from the global warming. Actors Carlos Bardem and Alberto Ammann have gone along with Greenpeace and Longoria to help spread the message.



Kori, a deaf boy living in a refugee camp in the Sahara Desert, is the protagonist of ‘Words of Caramel’ (Juan Antonio Moreno Amador, 2016). Despite being a beautiful cinematographic exercise and a sensorial experience that lacks dialogues, this short doc based on Gonzalo Moure’s book pursues the right to education. Kori doesn’t know sign language, so he strives to learn how to write and read in order to be able to communicate with his best friend, a camel named Caramel.



What happens when tribunals sentence innocent people to death? That’s the question raised by ‘The Resurrection Club’ (2016), a short doc by Álvaro Corcuera and Guillermo Abril with the support of Amnesty International. It tells the story of four people, now friends, who spent years of their lives in the death row in the US. They claimed their innocence, until it was recognised and they were released. Now these ‘survivors’ devote their new lives to fight against death penalty.  



The short ‘Neither God nor Santa María’ by Helena Girón and Samuel Martín Delgado, that had its Scotthis premier at IberoDocs 2016, was among the 8 shortlisted titles for this category in this edition of the Goya Awards. Now we’ll need to wait until the 4th of February to find out which of the four above mentioned finalists will be crowned the best Spanish short doc of 2016.