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THE WOMEN (ELAS) - Galicia, Women, and Fog

A short film about the power engendered in Galician women by the harshness of life, a process that can be envisioned through its folklore.

Aaron Siebert

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Category: Short Film

Genre: Drama/Suspense

Length: 25 minutes

Language: Galician/Spanish

Format: Digital 4K

Shooting: July 15-29

Premiere: January 2020, Eastman School of Music

THE WOMEN (ELAS in Galician)--the story of Avelaíña, a woman who grows indestructible in old age from harshness of life that typifies Galician existence historically. The film portrays Galicia--a historical region in northwestern Spain--through its women, and their struggles for survival appear in relation to Galician folklore.

The film is structured around 8 traumatic moments in Avelaíña's life, from infancy to old age. Each of these scenes culminates with a visitation from the Maragato, a frightening creature with the skull and horns of a cow, part of the Galician Carnival festival. Each blow the Maragato gives Avelaíña with a whip represents the blows of life she has received. In the final scenes we see how Avelaíña is able to conquer the Maragato with the aide of a charm called a trisquel--a 3-spiraled design--which she wears on a necklace that has been passed down from mother to daughter over generations. We see at this moment how the Galician strength of character takes shape from the chisel blows of difficulty. Avelaíña personifies an almost god-like figure, the Galician female, characterized by her paradoxical way of attaining the utmost interior strength at the moment of her greatest physical weakness.

MARAGATO - special thanks to Jaime Martín
MARAGATO - special thanks to Jaime Martín

Director's Note


2016, Los Angeles. Had just landed in the U.S. a year earlier and was lucky enough to land a job that summer in the music studio of my dreams (hint, I took 4 years of German in case I got the chance some day in life to meet the head composer). One day after work I went to the LA Film Festival to see a documentary about Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Ensemble--which featured the famous Galician bagpiper Cristina Pato. There, in the middle of an enormous theatre overflowing with people, they began to speak of "Galicia." People of all ages from all around the world were fascinated by "the middle of nowhere" where I grew up. That was when I suddenly felt a burning desire to give life to Galicia in terms that would be universally understood. My time away from home has opened my eyes to a Galicia that I can best envision from a distance.

2018, Rochester, New York. October. I walk into the office of the director of the Film Scoring program at Eastman. My Master's thesis due two years later consists of putting music to a project of substantial length. So I make my pitch: "Mark, I´d like to make a film--a film about Galicia, based on the life of my grandmother. You know, her brother burned to death in front of her eyes when she was barely 3 years old." You can imagine Mark's face. "Got a real freak here, OMG!" But he was very curious about the project and he gave me his enthusiastic approval.

The ball started rolling. Galicia, as seen in the eyes of Americans. In people's eyes on both sides of the Atlantic, you could see the thrill of giving life to the charm and magic of Galician culture. Thus THE WOMAN came to life. Walking home one day, I found the screenplay taking shape in my head. I got home, sat down, and with tears in my eyes I began to write.

This film represents to me a very unique opportunity --given my age as a student and the projection through Eastman in my last year here-- to transform my home, my country, my family, my vision of life and the vision of those who wish to work with me into a work of art that universally relatable. I believe this kind of effort has more value than ever today due to increased globalization. The aim of my work is to foster our relationship with beauty through film and music in a world consumed by materialism and an increasing sense of lack of direction and purpose. Today we live long lives, but it's as though we are losing reasons to want to stay alive in the first place. This is a void that art can fill, and it is the reason for ELAS to be made.

About the Premiere

Hatch Hall at Eastman
Hatch Hall at Eastman

THE WOMEN (ELAS) will be premiered as a Master's thesis in this theatre of the Eastman School of Music (Rochester, New York). At this event, my original soundtrack will be played by the EFAME Orchestra. World-famous composers will be among the audience, as will other artists who have the wherewithal to propel this project beyond the level of our team's humble aspirations.


We value your generosity. We carefully designed our perks so that with your contribution you would become part of the ELAS project and team: the poster of the film, the full orchestral soundtrack on paper, the screenplay, all signed and personally dedicated to you by the cast and crew; exclusives from behind the scenes of the film and music making process; a dinner with the team, individual Skype meetings, hugs and kisses from our protagonist, the "old woman" Avelaíña, and many, many more. A broad range of options depending on how much you can/want to get involved. With your contribution, each of you becomes a mother of THE WOMEN. You could even become our producer, the mother of all ;-).

Look at my granny. Isn
Look at my granny. Isn't she beautiful? :-)

About Us


We are a team of young artists from Spain and the U.S. Each of us has an outstanding portfolio, and we count on expert advice from successful professionals in the field for this project.

Where will your contributions go?

When we made the decision to start this project a few months ago, we began exclusively with our own personal funds. We feel passionate about enriching people's lives through art. This conviction has led us to dedicate our time, our energy, and our own money to make ELAS possible.

Your contributions will serve to mitigate the financial burden of this film and enable us to produce a level of quality that would otherwise be unaffordable for us. Thanks to your support we will be able to cover the costs of shooting (food, transportation, settings, scenery, etc.) as well as the costs of production equipment (drone, slider for the cameras, lighting, props, etc.).

It's worth noting that the soundtrack will feature an innovative fusion of conventional orchestral and electronic music for film with traditional Celtic instruments from Galicia such as bagpipes, the hurdy gurdy, and more. Your contributions will also help pay the musicians, sound engineers, and recording studio space, all necessary for producing the soundtrack.


Pre-production: December 2018 – June 2019

Shooting: 15-29 de Julio

Post-prodution: September - December 2019

Premiere: January 2020, in this theatre at the Eastman School of Music (Rochester, NY)

Delivery of Perks: January 2020.

Distribution, screenings at festivals, possible screenings with live orquestra EFAME

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  • Juan García dios

    Juan García dios

    over 4 years

    Mucha suerte!! Deseando poder verlo !

  • Kevin Rowan

    Kevin Rowan

    over 4 years

    Proud to be a sponsor of this important piece of Galician art

  • Silvia Servan

    Silvia Servan

    over 4 years

    Mucha suerte a todos!! Desde Málaga os deseamos lo mejor!!

  • Carlos Núñez Deza

    Carlos Núñez Deza

    over 4 years

    Deseando ver este corto. Ánimo!

  • Samuel Rausell

    Samuel Rausell

    over 4 years

    Mucho ánimo! Espero ver pronto cómo lo realizáis ;)

  • Begoña Sío Castiñeira

    Begoña Sío Castiñeira

    over 4 years

    Estos son los proyectos que nos hacen falta en Galicia. ¡Ánimo, equipo!

#05 / Gravamos Mañan!

Ola a todos! Estan todas as partituras listas, cos nomes galegos, e o estudio preparado para a gravacion da banda sonora. Fotos e videos estan por vir.

Apertas!!! Seguimos! Non esquezades seguirnos en Instagram para mais novas diarias: @elas_film


Hi all! We're recording the soundtrack tomorrow. Scores are ready, and the studio's all set. Will upload pics and videos when it's over.

Hugs from team ELAS!

#04 / Onte/Yesterday

Aaron conducting
Aaron conducting

Un par de fotos do concerto de onte, no que dirixín a suite da banda sonora de ELAS acompañada dalgunhas escenas do proxecto. Unha noite espectacular na que un público maioritariamente norteamericano emocionouse con Galiza.

Grazas a todos vós por facer isto posible. A curta enteira estase a rematar, coa gravación da música nas próximas semanas e planificación da estrea xa en camiño.

Apertas bretemosas a todos. Máis pronto.

Aaron S. Castiñeira

P.D. Se queredes ver a presentación de onte en vídeo ESCRIBÍDENOS, pois por regra imos agardar para compartir o proxecto completo con vós, non sendo que espresedes a vontade de querer ver este traballo antes da presentación completa.


A couple pics from last night's concert where I directed the suite of the soundtrack for ELAS live to excerpts of the picture. It was a wonderful night with an audience and musicians who felt the core of the project in their hearts.

read more

#03 / Updates on the soundtrack and your perks

Ola a todos:

Estamos coidando os detalles do proceso de edición de Elas con agarimo. O material que rodamos é precioso e agardamos ansiosos para poder compartilo con vós.

Hai un pequeno cambio no calendario. Por aspectos loxísticos da estrutura do programa en Eastman e a dispoñibilidade da sala de gravación, os inxeñeiros, e o grupo de músicos, non se poderá gravar a música ata Xaneiro de 2020. Por elo, a entrega das vosas recompensas terá que retrasarse a Febreiro-Marzo do mesmo ano.

Pedimos disculpas polo inconveniente e agradecémola vosa comprensión. Liderar un proxecto tan ambicioso de xeito independiente fai que a predición dun calendario acertado sexa difícil de conseguir.

Apertas bretemosas.

O Equipo ELAS


Hello everyone,

We're working carefully on the editing of Elas to make sure every detail is the way we want it to be. The footage is beautiful and we can't wait to share it with you all.

read more

#02 / Shooting is coming

Hello all!

Shooting starts tomorrow evening. We are super excited. Everything is ready, follow us on instagram to get live updates!!! --> @elasfilm

Foggy hugs from the ELAS team!!!


Mañana empieza el rodaje! Tenemos una ganas tremendas y todo está listo. Seguidnos en instagram para seguir el proceso de cerca --> @elasfilm

Apertas bretemosas ;)

#01 / Destacados de Verkami Galiza!

Onte Verkami fíxonos campaña destacada na portada de Verkami Galiza. Toda unha honra, estámosvos moi agradecidos a todos polo voso apoio, e a seguir, que non queda nada!!

Apertas bretemosas.

O equipo ELAS.

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