Women in Experimental Film

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Photo collages by Daniela Santa Cruz

These photo collages were created for the C.Rojas project. The concept developed by Anto Astudillo was to create a mixture of textures and elements originated in different geographies. You can visit Daniela Santa Cruz's work here

INT./EXT. A tale on the (other) end of any given time

I made a box with grass in it!

People can come in and feel the texture and smell of nature while watching fragments of C. Rojas a film about 3 women who are trying to escape their house to explore the dangerous world outside. 

This piece had a test exhibit as part of an Installation class I took at Emerson College.

Screen Captures of the film C. Rojas

Cristina Rojas (C. Rojas 1)
Between the sacred and profane

The Film Project

 C. Rojas: un cuento de los confines
Little Reds: a tale at the edge of the world 
            C. Rojas is a film that captures through a lens (for the first time in my artistic life) a performance and re-enactment of a bedtime story conceived as a dream, using the film world elements to capture what’s beyond our conscious perspective. My approach was to discover the universe of intimacy within the original fairy tale and to plant seeds of my personal experience facing my lesbianism, my admiration for the female gender and my dissatisfaction with the association of inferiority and vulnerability that women have acquire in a male dominated society. My feministic perspective translates into trying to understand the elements moving every character female character in this piece.  As my writing transitioned from theater to screen, I found myself working in a new version of Little Red Ridding Hood, one where I was exploring the more feminist possibilities of the original plot.
            In this work I make the main protagonist tridimensional by having a single female character become three and having a fourth element (another woman) that refers to the original story. After a natural disaster, three sisters locked in a house with their mother are looking to escape and explore the dangerous world beyond their fences. "Caperucita Roja" (Little Red Riding Hood) here becomes "C. Rojas". The first letter of the three main characters represented by the "C.": Carolina, Catalina and Cristina. And the color red represented by a common Chilean lastname: "Rojas 
In the outskirts there is a wild creature who doesn't have a name but is known as "Lobos" or the "many wolves" (also a very common Chilean lastname). He is the only male character present in this piece. This character is a man-like creature that has lost humanity and carries old visions of a patriarchal society  
In the film I present woman as the one who can take away that power and transform it in order to generate a more spiritual relation where she captures the essence of the male. The three female characters don’t renounce to a carnal instinct but consider it a transit point to reach another stage.
They need to break traditions and beliefs in order to grow freely, that is why I also add the element of accident into the story through the presence of earthquakes that are natural events representing my country of origin: Chile.
This experiment can be seen as a journey of transformation for their characters and it was written to bring the poetry of staged performance into film, also in a way to expose my own experience in theatre.
The text is provoking and poetical and works as a composition more than for narrative purposes. At the time the film was shot nobody in the project had actual filmmaking training. I worked with painters, photographers, visual artists, actors and dancers. We used a low end camera, the only one avaialble, as a capsule to capture the fictional time of the story.
Filmmaking is my way to bring to life the parallel world of my dreams.  I want to create an environment that fosters experiences on the subconscious level and that can potentially become the seed for another person’s experience, recognizing the world we live in but aren’t aware of because we tend to exist rationally, rather than intuitively. Or at least, we think we do.


Anto Astudillo 

Anto's background in psychophysical theater and martial arts has lead her to interweave her exploration in experimental narrative and documentary filmmaking with performance and installation. Born in Santiago, Chile, Anto worked as an International Producer for the Santiago a Mil Festival and acted and produced for the experimental theater company Compañía Interno from 2007-2012. She is currently an MFA candidate in the Visual and Media Arts Department at Emerson College. Anto organized and co-directed the New England Graduate Media Symposium during the years 2014 to 2016 with guest artists such as Sue Friedrich, Dalida María Benfield and Laurie Anderson. www.negmediasymposium.net