Synopsis: A middleclass working professional struggles to buy food amid Venezuela’s humanitarian crisis. When buying flour for his mother’s birthday cake, he gets caught in the violent looting of a food truck and a conflict arises.
Gabriel Aguero (Roberto)
HARINA is an award winning short film which has been in over 35 film festivals in 18 countries around the world. HARINA is a project that was born from the need to narrate the humanitarian crisis and precarious living conditions that are being experienced today in Venezuela, focusing primarily on hunger. In 2018, the World Health Organization estimated there was 15% child malnutrition in Venezuela. The severe food and medicine shortages, social decomposition and collective anxiety, have caused a massive exodus, comparable in numbers to that of Syria’s. Approximately over five million Venezuelans have abandoned the country in the last few years in order to be able to meet with their minimum basic life necessities.
We live in an era of migration crises and unconventional war. Produced and filmed on location in a high-risk environment under what many consider an authoritative regime, Harina’s team took the risk to re-enact a situation which is common to all Venezuelans: the struggle to find food. The scene of the looting of the truck was done with real food and mostly non-actors. The anarchy and urgency the audience sees on screen is not acted, it’s a reality.
The story portrayed in this short film is the first story of a series for a feature film currently in development. The stories portray the deterioration of moral values in characters that are facing serious hardships, living in precarious conditions brought about by the economic and social crises. The different characters in the film struggle with multiple jobs to try to make a living, resorting to acts of corruption, vandalism, stealing and criminality.
Until what point is corruption and criminality justified as a coping mechanism in broken down demoralized societies? Do the people living in such precarious conditions have the power to make the right choice, or is there no way out of the broken cycle?
Joanna is a writer, producer, director from Venezuela with seven years of professional experience in the entertainment and audiovisual industry, including theatre production and radio. She has produced and directed four short films of her own script. Her winning pitch for her feature in development, HUNGER, took home an award at the FEST 2018 Pitching Forum and has won a development grant.
With a background in economics and management, she has worked for innovative platforms within the film industry such as: Olffi.com, the world’s largest database on public funding for film & TV, and FilmarketHub.com, Europe’s leading online marketplace for film content. Joanna has moderated multiple live events throughout her career and participated as jury member at pitching events and festivals. She is currently in the development of her first feature film HUNGER, a coproduction with Chile, which also touches upon the Venezuelan humanitarian crisis.