Figures is the portrait of the last moments in the life of an ALS patient.
Barcelona, Spain. Stella is Argentinian and does not have papers. Since she has been diagnosed with ALS, her partner Paco helps her to move, eat, and communicate. Valeria, Stella´s daughter, accompanies them in her spare time, but the anguish caused by witnessing the deterioration of her mother, leads her to lose herself by going out to party. While they wait for an answer to their application for subsidized housing, they try to survive day to day with the resources that they have left.
The Origin of Figuras
Figuras is the result of eight months of training with a group of fourteen actors, led by Melina Pereyra and Eugenio Canevari for Chroma Teatre Estudi. During the creative process, the actors shared experiences, dreams, reflections, movements, and expressions that have helped formed the story we are setting out to share.
Valeria is one of our actresses. Her mother, Stella, suffers from ALS, and their relationship in the wake of the disease is the starting point of our story. From this point, we have liberally woven a storyline in which fiction and documentary coexist harmoniously.
Eugenio Canevari as director and Melina Pereyra as director of actors began their collaboration in 2012 with the short film Gorila Baila. Soon, they understood that they had the potential to embark in something bigger. Thus, the idea to create an acting course for cinema was born, with the objective being to create a feature film. Figuras is the fruit of this labor, produced in Chroma Teatre Estudi.
Stella’s Illness: ALS
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease that affects motor neurons in the brain, brainstem, and spinal cord: these are the cells that are responsible for transmitting voluntary movement from the brain to the muscles. Currently, the disease has no cure and there are no treatments that impede the degenerative process of ALS.
Through the degeneration of the motor neurons, the brain loses the ability to initiate and control muscle movement. Consequently, patients have muscular atrophy causing progressive paralysis. Apart from motor autonomy, it also affects the capacity to speak, swallow, and breathe.
In the majority of cases, the affected person is fully aware of their situation and the evolution of the disease - ALS doesn’t affect the sight, hearing, smelling, or the ability to recognize touch.
By collaborating with Figuras, you are going to help us spread information over a little know condition that urgently needs a cure. No more deaths from ALS!
Our Grand Figure: the Cast
We have a group of emerging actors that have been working exhaustively for eight months - they are the key parts of our universe in Figuras.
They are: Valeria Ballerini, Ivette Balaguer, Francesco La Torre, Judith Dalmau, Meritxell Calduch, Roberto David García Suárez, Elisa López Fuentes, Stella Maris Santo, Laura Esteve, Adrià Sanchez-Campo, Ximena Marsé, Elena Simarro, Pere de Palol, Carla León, Isabel Rojas.
Eugenio Canevari is writer, director, and producer. After winning Best Direction and Best Screenplay at the New Authors SGAE at the Sitges Festival for his short film Gorila Baila, he created his first feature, Paula in Argentina. Which was given its world premier at the 63° Festival de San Sebastián. The film continued traveling in festivals including the 59th BFI London Festival, 29th Festival of Mar del Plata, 37th Festival of Havana, and won Best Film at the 35th Festival of Montevideo in the New Director’s Section. Here is the trailer and information about the film!
Direction of Actors
Melina Pereyra is actress, creator, director, and trainer of actors. She works in the scopes of cinema, theatre, and television, in Argentina, Spain, and the United States, among other European countries.
She generates and promotes spaces in which artists, from different disciplines, can connect and build together. She is founder of Cía. Chroma Teatre, the school of actors Chroma Teatre Estudi and the space of cinematographic training, Cinema Refugi.
Script: Melina Pereyra, Eugenio Canevari
Director: Melina Pereyra, Eugenio Canevari
Photography: Michele Falci, Enrique Rico
Sound Recording: Gabriel Cohen Tarica
Production Manager: Renata Daoud
Assistant Director: Belén Pérez Lamas
2º Assistant Director: Gemma Sellares de Pedro
Editor: Didac Palou
Art Director: Gerardo Del Castillo
*Art Assistant * Gemma Raurell, Ivanna Barbagallo
Production Assistant: Jesús Duarte
How will we invest your donations?
We already have the camera and sound equipment. Crew members have forfeited wages. But, still, there remain many expenses to be covered in the technical area:
TECHNICAL TEAM: lighting, lenses, memory cards, a boom, wardrobe, art supplies, and miscellaneous equipment.
PRODUCTION: Transportation and catering for the whole team. Various and unanticipated supplies.
POST-PRODUCTION: Our co-producers in Argentina, Mamá Húngara Cine, will be responsible for post-production (color correction and sound mixing). And, still, we have the post-production costs for storage (hard drives) and other supplies.
STELLA: : A percentage of funds raised will go to improve the living conditions of Stella, as social services do not cover all of the basic necessities. Stella needs an electric wheelchair, a caregiver, permanent assistance, a cleaner, and her needs grow as the disease advances. If you have any ideas of how to help Stella, please, contact us!
Schedule and Rewards
Now we begin with the rehearsals and pre-production! The shooting is planned for early October and late November of 2016. The post-production is planned to end in March of 2017.
Once we have finished the post-production, we will begin delivery of the rewards! Contact us with whatever question you may have. ([email protected])