A new Spanish title enriches our line up, thank you to the acquisition of the documentary The Writer from a Country without Bookstores, directed by Marc Serena (Tchindas, 2015).
Juan Tomás Ávila Laurel is the most translated writer from Equatorial Guinea, a country ruled by the longest lasting dictatorship in the world, Teodoro Obiang. The country got their independence from Spain in 1968 and now is one of the most unequal, isolated and repressive countries in Africa. Spanish fascists laws from that time are still in force.
Ávila Laurel did a hunger strike against Obiang’s regime in 2011 that forced him to flee Guinea for security reasons. He received lots of international support. Since then, he lives as a refugee in Spain and has become one of the most vocal opponents in exile.
He now feels he has to come back to Guinea, to meet fellow opponents, from rappers to people that have been in prison. We follow him on this trip despite of the risks. We arrive in Malabo, the capital, during the birthday celebrations of Obiang, that last several weeks and where all the country is forced to take part.
The film includes unique footage from a country where few films have been shot, propaganda archives made during Franco’s time, animation and music from the best Equatoguinean singer, Grammy Award-Winning Concha Buika.
The project has been developed at Dox in Vitro (Slovakia), Frontlab (Italy) 2018, Dig Awards (Italy), Fest.pt (Portugal) and Bolivialab (Bolivia) 2019.
Co-director of the award-winning documentary Tchindas (2015), nominated at the African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) and broadcasted at PBS (US), he also realized Double Epidemic (2015) and Freshwater Fish (in Saltwater) (2018).
As a writer, Marc published three books that were also translated into Chinese and Korean.