Alberto Santiago Gauna Villar

Your project has entered in our festival. What is your project about?

A documentary by Alberto Gauna
Murders in El Tandil 1872

In the year 1872 in Tandil, province of Buenos Aires (Argentina), there is a massacre of foreigners, attributed to a healer nicknamed Tata Dios. These events of enormous importance for the historical moment, are the ones that this documentary recounts, through the different specialists who have dealt with the subject. The story is linking the different interviews that are linked by illustrative drawings. Our intention is to get this issue out of oblivion, considering that it was a millennial and messianic uprising, the only one in the south of the American continent.


What are your ambitions with your project?
My personal ambitions regarding this project, is to disseminate as much as possible in various international festivals, a very forgotten topic in Argentine history.

Tell us something about your shooting? What pleasantly surprised you?
Within the filming of "Malón Blanco" it has been a tremendous satisfaction to be able to interview all the people who dealt with the subject, each one from their point of view, also considering that these people live in different parts of the world.


For what group of spectators is your film targeted?
This historical documentary is aimed at the general public, especially anthropological film enthusiasts and specialists in this type of subject.

Why should distributors buy your film?
I believe that my documentary deserves to be acquired, due to the values that the subject supports.

How would you specify your work? What characterizes your film?
The work in this documentary, specifically, is punctuated by thoughtful interviews about the subject matter, but deep down there is a reference to "non-fiction cinema", it is one of the characteristics of this project.

Why did you decided to become a filmmaker?
Among the reasons that decided me to convert to cinephilia, from a very young age, I believe that it was the highest artistic expression of the 20th century.

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Who is your role model?
In reality I don't have a single referent, I follow all the documentary cinema of a social nature, treated as “rural cinema”.

Which movies are your favorites? Why?
Because I was born in South America, my training at that time in Argentina, I would highlight, “La hora de los hornos” by Pino Solanas, “Carlos portrait of a walker by Mario Handler, Chis Marker, great documentarian author of “Lois du Vietnam” with Joris Ivens, Alain Resnais, Jean Luc Godard, Agnes Varda.

Where do you look for inspiration for your films?
My source of inspiration is almost always in the themes of the city where I was born; Tandil in the province of Buenos Aires Argentina, a very important intermediate Buenos Aires city. All themes of a historical-social nature are the ones that motivate my inspiration.

Which topics interest you the most?
I am interested in all historical events that move society, that have an impact on the present, projecting into the future.

What do you consider your greatest achievement in your career?
For a filmmaker from the Buenos Aires city of Tandil-Argentina, the greatest achievement is being able to participate with "Malón Blando in festivals such as the London Director Awards", having been a semi-finalist in the Hollywood International Golden Age Festival, and in Rotterdam Independent Film Festival.

What do you consider most important about filming?
For me, the most important thing in the creative process of a project is the assembly (editing), it is the previous step in search of a viewer, the path to being able to move people.

Which film technique of shooting do you consider the best?
The various techniques, which allow us to maintain empathy on the subject, according to the filmmaker's point of view.

How would you rate/What is your opinion about current filmmaking?
I mean the current documentary, the history of documentary film, has been forged over the years, resolving all its issues, as works of art, the questions of documentary film remain the same since "Nanuk the Eskimo" by Flaherty, with his own look. Today's documentary is immersed in contemporary culture, in a syncretic way, be it hybrid, documentary and fiction, it is reality and illusion, it is the very cinephilia of a passion for reality.

What can disappoint you in a movie?
The most disappointing thing about a movie is that it doesn't move you, that it doesn't manage to fill that magical space of the inexplicable, this "rectangle of time" notices it becomes sublime.

Who supports you in your film career?
The first to support me, my family, then some producers, then friends who are moviegoers.

What are the reactions to your film? (opinion of spectators, film critics, friends and family)
Malón Blanco is an Argentine documentary made by a director who, when his career took off, had to leave his country in times of dictatorship, settling in Spain. Far from forgetting Argentina and much less his city -Tandil, Buenos Aires province- Alberto Gauna, who he is about, continued the story that he had begun when he was very young, that is, forging a commitment to his land, his history searching for a lot more than sterile folklorisms and with the daring claim to universalize those messages that need to be extended in space and time.

Coming and going from Spain to Tandil, Gauna made Malón Blanco a mosaic of images, sensations and testimonies that impact not only because of what it tells but also because of a documentary aesthetic with its own hallmark capable of, rescuing a historical fact of the interior of Buenos Aires, delving into the face of a society and its contradictions. After several attempts, marches and counter marches, this film was made to rescue from oblivion those events buried in archives that are nothing more than the preserved, immobile memory of our institutions. But since memory is not past but present and has a constant dynamic that eludes mere recollection, Gauna decided precisely to give Malón Blanco that tone, a documentary about the murders in Tandil on January 1, 1872, the killing of 36 people. that they were framed to a healer, nicknamed Tata Dios and named Gerónimo de Solané, who was imprisoned for a few days and executed, without the accused being able to say a word.

This event generated various literary publications but the audiovisual rescue was missing. Such a powerful tragic moment and, as those interviewed in the film say -from professors to self-taught- not clarified until now, could be approached from the cinema as a fiction (something that only the mainstream would have undertaken, not goldsmith work, almost heroic) or as a documentary built on the basis of testimonies that has the value of interpellation, more than that rigor that does not allow new reconsiderations. The latter was the path chosen by Gauna, who tries to ensure that the review of the events does not conspire against cinematographic language, hence the editing is substantial and precise, like those very well achieved interstices with the presence of the payadores and the allusive drawings, in addition to an excellent soundtrack and other images that fly over the faces of the numerous interviewees without overwhelming them with close-ups.
The images leave the door open to new questions, he achieves a perfect balance with the word and perhaps for this reason there are no sentences but the sensation of endless searches, to -as the director says- avoid oblivion but also to reveal the debts that devastate in our contemporary life.

In Gauna, as a film activist, there is a design, a goal, an obsession, a dream. That is where his muses have been wandering for a long time, who appeared, as the main letter of introduction among Argentines, in that unforgettable film Cerro de Leones that came to light in 1975. Forty years later, Gauna makes use of everything he has found after a search meticulous as if Malón Blanco, in addition to being a documentary, formed part of those artistic strategies thought in function of a possible encounter: that of identity.
Newspaper New Era of Tandil

-- Alberto Gauna the man of two kingdoms
  Malón Blanco, by Alberto Gauna, perhaps his greatest obsession, Aquella felicidad que debece de Tandil – Argentina somehow finds him in Malaga, Spain, where it allows him to continue working behind a camera and on different projects that have to do, precisely, with those two kingdoms that characterize his profession, his desires and the new paths to discover: reality and illusion. Paraphrasing the title of Fred Zinemann's film, this man of two kingdoms is truly the film director around the corner, the one you can find in Tandil or anywhere in Spain where the cinema summons him. Julio Ramon Varela

Have you already visited any of the prestigious film festivals?
I have been invited in person to international festivals such as San Sebastián, Benalmádena (Semana autor), Mar del Plata and the aforementioned Hollywood International Golden Age Festival, Rotterdam Independent Film Festival.

What are your future plans in filmmaking carriere?
I have some documentary projects with old moviegoer friends; in addition to celebrating in Tandil Prov. Bs As. Argentina the fifty years of "Cerro de Leones", a medium-length film that is already part of the intangible history of that city.

Att. Un cordial Saludo Alberto Gauna