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Water Circles Under Cotton Clouds

New short film by directors Roberto F. Canuto and Xu Xiaoxi on social inclusion in a dystopian future. We need your help to make it possible


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We are very excited about this project, Water Circles Under Cotton Clouds, that it is in the last days of the filming process. We need your help to complete the last days of the principal photography, as well as for the post-production (sound mixing, colour correction, final copies) and distribution at international festivals. The scenes completed so far are spectacular, thanks to a great technical and artistic team. With your help, we can move forward and complete the film at a professional level. Your name will appear in the credits of the film, and also you will be among the first to see the final result, as well as being able to obtain other rewards.

Water Circles, Under Cotton clouds is a short film that reveals the story of a group of young people in a dystopian future, where the pandemic, far from disappearing, has mutated, and the lack of social union has ended up affecting the most disadvantaged social groups in the society.

The plot will focus mainly on the relationships between the characters, their hidden wishes and dreams to fulfil, their traumas, the love and heart-breaking relationships, all in a context of struggle for survival. A universal story with great emotional intensity that will reach viewers wherever it is presented.

In this world, created by Roberto F. Canuto and Xu Xiaoxi as screenwriters, the public powers have discriminated and selected the population to be vaccinated, depriving anyone who does not fall within a "established parameters"; Secluded from society because of their sexual orientation or ethnic origin, they carry on with their lives hiding from the others, surviving thanks to the illegal trafficking of vaccines. Some of them use these vaccines for their own profit, while others are trying to distribute it between the marginalized groups.

Momentos del rodaje
Momentos del rodaje

As in previous productions by the directors, the LGBTI community will have an important representation, with several key characters in the development of the plot. In addition, groups of immigrants, together with other minority and disadvantaged groups, will make up the narrative, all of them being stalked and having their rights limited due to the growing impulse of extremism, something that can be perceived even in today's society.

The filming is taking place in spectacular locations in Asturias (Spain), in the council of Ribadedeva and Piloña.

About us


Roberto F. Canuto & Xiaoxi Xu

Authors with multiple awards at international festivals, especially with their latest production, “Sunken Plum (Chen Li)”, presented in over 50 countries and with official selections at festivals such as Raindance Film Festival in London, Seminci in Valladolid, Gijon International Film Festival or Outfest Film Festival in Los Angeles, etc., and with 30 awards such as the Silver Caravel of “Cartagena International Film Festival, the three awards in “Punto di Vista” Film Festival in Sardinia (Italy) or the two obtained at “Cortada film Festival” in Vitoria (Basque Country), and with more of 200 international screenings.

Previously they directed, in addition to Chinese and American productions, the Asturian-Chinese short film "Ad-vientu", shot in Asturian Llingua, which was awarded by the Audience Awards at ”Gijón International Film Festival” and "Aviles Accion Film Festival” among others.

Roberto F. Canuto

Spanish film director and screenwriter. He is one of the first European directors with stable ties in the Chinese industry.

He obtained a Bachelor's degree in “Image and Sound” at the Complutense University of Madrid. He moved to London working in professions far from the world of cinema and after 8 years he decided to resume his vocation, traveling to Los Angeles (CA) to study a Master in Film Directing at the New York Film Academy, at Universal Studios (Hollywood). As of 2008 he directs several short films. Those years began his collaboration with Xu Xiaoxi. His two graduation projects are turned into movies: "Toto Forever" and "Desire Street", co-directed with Xu Xiaoxi.

In 2019 he was director of the 1st Chengdu Spanish Film Festival, organized by the Spanish Embassy in China, Ermei Studio 1958 and Almost Red Prod, with the collaboration of SEMINCI and its director Javier Angulo.

Xiaoxi Xu

Film director and screenwriter from Chengdu, China. He belongs to a generation of Asian filmmakers who study and are influenced through experiences in Western countries. After finishing his high school studies, he moved to South Africa to graduate in Fine Arts from the “Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University” in Port Elizabeth. Xiaoxi study drawing, painting, photography and video art, graduating in 2006.

Xiaoxi enrolled in 2008 in a Master in Film Directing (MFA) at the New York Film Academy, at its Universal Studios (Hollywood) headquarters. He directed several short films in celluloid and digital format and collaborates in many others, mainly as Director of Photography (the most notorious was Toto Forever, being nominated by his School in the “Kodak Cinematography Scholarship Awards”).

He graduated in 2009 with the feature film "Desire Street", co-directed with Roberto F. Canuto, which would receive several awards and honors. From then on, all of his films are screened on the film festival circuit.

Production Companies

Almost Red Prod.

Almost Red Prod., China is a Chengdu-based production company with international experience. It was founded in 2011 by Roberto F. Canuto and Xiaoxi Xu and specialized in film and video productions alternating fiction narrative projects with advertising work.

In 2013 they released the Chinese and Spanish-produced short film “Ni Jing: No Robarás”, obtaining the award for Best Film **("Saginaw Riverside International Film Festival", Michigan, USA), Best Actress -Sherry XiaRuihong- and **Second Short Film Award (Asturian Film Festival, Spain), along with other international nominations and screenings.

In August 2014, the MOMA, Museum of Contemporary Art A4 of Sichuan (China) dedicated an exhibition to the directors, Xu Xiaoxi and Roberto F. Canuto titled ID/EGO.

Under the name of "Invisible Chengdu Trilogy: Ni Jing, Fu Guo, Chen Li" are the works of "Ni Jing: Thou shalt not steal", 2013, “Floating Melon”, 2015 and “Sunken Plum”, 2017.

LionFreak Films

Lionfreak Films is an independent Asturian production company founded in 2006 by Hernán F. Joglar and Gonzalo Cifuentes, driven by the love of cinema and the desire to tell different stories. In its beginnings, it produced twenty-one comedy short films, without script and based on improvisations. It also produced the first three episodes of a documentary series about “Metal detectors profesionales” called "Detector Kings”. They produced after that some more ambitious projects:

Derailed (Descarrilados,2017): Post-apocalyptic short film submitted to the contest “Rolling in the railway museum” that wins the main award and selected at the 55th Gijón International Film Festival.

Astur (2018): Narrating the first contact between Asturian tribes and Roman troops, this short film tries to instill the importance of preserving our historical heritage. It was selected and presented at the Mumbai International Film Festival.

XJV - 410 (2020): Intrigue and science fiction short film made in record time for the contest “Rolling where you can (Rodando en donde puedas)”. Festival in which it receives the second prize.

Project 48 (2021): Set in the eighties, it tells the story of an inventor coerced by "Exocorp", a multinational that will try by all means that the plans for "project 48" do not come to light. It is in post-production.

Lionfreak films has also made in 2020 the short Cara B (Side B), together with the YouTuber “Peter's Den”, as well as advertisements for the Midgard historical recreation association, “El Monje” brewery and has collaborated in the filming of the video clip “I called you Morena” by Jorge Colsa and Gema Bravo.


Pelayo, Senén, Alejandro, Úrsula, David y Lucía
Pelayo, Senén, Alejandro, Úrsula, David y Lucía

Pelayo Carrizo Tiscar

Young actor, student of the ESAD (School of Dramatic Art of the Principality of Asturias). He has participated in various plays and short films. Behind the camera, Pelayo will become Nico, an attractive and sensitive young man who represents the hope of the discriminated groups.

Senén Valera

Actor student of the ESAD (School of Dramatic Art of the Principality of Asturias). He has been in the supporting cast in several operas and has courses in acting for the camera with tutors as Andrés Cuenca. He has participated in the 2015 documentary film "El crucigrama de Jacob". Yago, the character he represents, is the leader of the band that traffics in vaccines.

Alejandro Barrena

Graduated from ESAD (School of Dramatic Art of the Principality of Asturias). In 2020 he received a scholarship from the singing school “Los Adioses” in Avilés (Spain). He has participated in the theater’s award gala Oh! and at the Delfos Sports Awards, held in Langreo (Asturias). His character, Alex, is an innocent-looking boy who belongs to the group of traffickers.

Úrsula Villalta
Úrsula has a diploma in interpretation from the William Layton Laboratory in Madrid. She continue her studies at various courses and workshops and recently devoted herself to the Stand up comedy, creating and performing her own monologues. She has been seen in short films like “Vino de Moras” by Juan José Bors or “Gusto de mierda” written and directed by herself. In addition, she act for TV in various series produced by Movistar+ like "A todo riesgo" and for RTVE in “Cine Low Cost” and “Ciudadano Juanear”. Her character, Tina, has suffered a great loss as a result of the pandemic, causing on her a serious mental instability.

David Soto Giganto

An ESAD graduate, David was awarded with the Achievement for Higher Art Education in 2010. Selected by Kevin Spacey to participate with his foundation in performances in New York (US). He performed as an actor in various theater companies. He interpreted the short film by directors Roberto F. Canuto and Xu Xiaoxi, Advent, which has been awarded at various festivals, and is currently working at “The Young National Company of Classic Theater” in Madrid (Spain). David perform the character of Miguel, Nico's partner in the past, who will serve as inspiration and vital force for him.

Lucia Llamedo

Actress, student at the ESAD (School of Dramatic Art of the Principality of Asturias). She is studying scenic fencing, musical language, and singing. She has participated in several short films such as "Vendas Negras" (2019) or "La última cena" by Alex Corte and Adrián Neo. In the theatrical field she has participated in the theatrical laboratory “Actos íntimos". Lucía will play Vero, a young woman, lover of the gang leader, but who is carried away by a tumultuous and absorbing relationship.

Oscar, Sam, Eduardo, Mia y Karim
Oscar, Sam, Eduardo, Mia y Karim

Oscar Torrecillas

In addition to being an actor, his teaching side is important (especially with workshops on gender equality) and also he is an entrepreneur. As an actor, he has been part of several productions, such as “Camping Movie 2” by J.K. Alvarez. He also has experience in the world of modeling and he has collaborated in location scouting works and even as a stuntman. His character, Omar, acts as a bodyguard for the leader of the group, but soon he will see feelings for one of the members of the group of discriminated people.

Sam McNamara

20-year-old bilingual young actor with Irish roots, who has been participating in acting and staging plays for more than10 years at the Philharmonic and Campoamor theaters in Oviedo. He is a huge music fan (he has a group and plays guitar). He is currently studying dubbing in Gijón and photography at the Oviedo School of Arts. His carácter, Luke, has recently joined the trafficking gang. He follows leader, whom he admires and hopes to one day emulate.

Eduardo Gómez Cabrera

Actor and a vocational writter.. He studied performing arts baccalaureate and has spent years training in various groups of theater, thanks to which he has been able to participate in plays such as "Macbeth", "Otello" or "Don Juan Tenorio", among others. He will play the role of Carlos, a character whose naivety makes him incapable of being aware of the wickedness of people.

Mia Onungue

Young Nigerian native actress who has always been drawn to celluloid and the magic of creating audiovisual stories. She is a professional in the social integration sector, having worked as a leisure and free time instructor. She has studies in image consulting. Dara is the character performed by Mia, a girl with a hippie spirit, somewhat crazy and dreamy.

Abdou Karim Thiam

Abdou came to Spain from Senegal at a young age. He is a primary education teacher and free time monitor. He has been trained in sports, currently being a soccer coach. He participated in a feature film perfoming a small roll, from which he awakened his new vocation. On the screen he represents Malick, an African immigrant who has suffered a lot to reach a western country.


Parte del equipo de rodaje y ritual chino
Parte del equipo de rodaje y ritual chino

Direction & Script: Roberto F. Canuto & Xu Xiaoxi

Assistant Director: Hernán Joglar

Script Supervisor: Javier Suárez Parrondo

Director of Photography: Xu Xiaoxi

1st AC: Sergio Lafuente Pais

2º AC: Kai Martínez

Sound: Alvaro Cocina & Daniel Ortea

Music: Andrea Centazzo

Making of/Still Photo: Jorge Fdez. Artime

Line Producer: Hernán Joglar

UPM Union Production Manager: Enol Villamor

Production Secretary: Tanya Prifer

Production Assistants: Daniel Olmo, Laura Menéndez, Maite Canuto Martín, José Medero, Daniel Fdez. Peruyero, Javier Parrondo, Miguel Ángel Muñiz Menéndez

Art Direction and Wardrobe: Aida Moral

SFX Make-up, warbrobe and Prop master: Javier Caiñas

Graphic Design: Ola Podgorska

Make-up and Hairdressing: Natalia Fdez. Canuto

Ass. Make-up and Hairdressing: Estela Santos Roiz

Pre-production and Casting ass.: Beatriz Meré & Daniel Velho

What will we allocate your contributions to?

We are finishing the filming process (we have two shooting days left), which will culminate at the end of November 2021. This process entails numerous expenses for transportation, catering, equipment rentals, etc. Later we will start the p*ost-production process and distribution at International Film Festivals. Your contribution will be essential, in addition to the filming, to make the **sound mixes* and the colour grading professionally end, also to create the screening copies (dcps) as well as the elements necessary for the distribution process, so that the project can be finished at a high standard.

Even with the minimum contribution, your name will appear in the credits because you help us to complete the project, and you will also be the first to see the final cut, since we will share a private link to preview the film the same day that we will do a private screening with the whole team, because you will became part of the process. In addition, with other contributions, you can get even higher rewards.

As we say, for these three stages (filming, post-production and distribution) we need this economic boost to help us complete the project at a high creative level. The objective of this crowdfunding is modest compared to the real expenses that the process will generate, some not yet quantified, and although we manage to overcome it with your help, it will be used to raise the quality of the work, so that it becomes the preamble to something greater, because we believe that it has enough potential to become a feature film or a fiction series.

Also the project has the support of the Asturias Paraíso Natural Film Commission, the ESAD (Higher School of Dramatic Art of the Principality of Asturias) or the CMX (Conseyu de la Mocedá de Xixón) among others, and help from several private companies such as Aguas Fuensanta, Coca-Cola Company, Cafés Candelas, Beers Caleya, Fortia masks or Macondo Vintage, but also your help to get it done is essential.

We are counting on you. Together we can make it. You can find out the rewards you will receive with each donation below.


We have completed the first days of principal photography. At the end of November we will finish filming and we will start the post-production process, which will last several weeks.

The rewards will be sent at the time of the premiere (or pre-screening, depending on the festival calendar), which we estimate will be between the end of January and February 2022.

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1 comment

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  • Tanyaprieto


    over 2 years

    Quedan pocos días. Una gran historia que contar . No dejes pasar la oportunidad.

#01 / ¡Tramo final de los rodajes!

✅Con 90% del film rodado estamos ya de descanso y recargando pilas para acabar los últimos tramos del rodaje.

👇Equipo inmejorable y ánimos por los cielos para llevar este proyecto a lo más alto.

❤️Gracias a todos los que estáis colaborando con donaciones económicas o materiales para hacer realidad está iniciativa.

Último día de rodajes en la playa de La Franca
Último día de rodajes en la playa de La Franca

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