You make documentary films for nights like these. On April 19 2018, LA PRENDA screened in the magnificent auditorium of the Mexican embassy in Guatemala City. This special screening took place in the context of the FIFDH Human Rights Festival on Tour to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. After an incredible festival run that started in 2015 at Hot Docs and at the Guadalajara Film Festival, LA PRENDA came home. We missed Astrid, one of the protagonists who lives in Los Angeles, Kelly's family and Micaela's family. But Karin and Rodolfo, 2 of the main protagonists of the film, spoke for them.
They shared the stage with Supreme Court judge Maria Eugenia Morales Aceña during one of the best Q&A the film ever had. LA PRENDA sparked discussions at the highest level of Guatemalan justice system. The protagonists' quest for justice impressed Justice Morales Aceña. "The film teaches me about the life of the children is a "prenda" (a jewel)", she said after watching LA PRENDA. "It is so precious that we have to defend it. The most important thing is to try to prevent these cases".
In Kelly Diaz Reyes' case, justice hasn't been achieved yet. The teenager was kidnapped and killed 7 years ago but her family is still fighting with the lawyer Rodolfo Diaz and the Sobrevivientes Foundation to make sure the convicted murderers are not released prematurely. A visit to the "Casa de la Memoria" (House of remembrance) in Guatemala City is a powerful reminder that these cases keep happening and that people keep disappearing.
Nights like these inspire you to keep going and to keep hustling to make films that matter. Because ultimately, you get to meet courageous people like Karin, Astrid, Rodolfo, Norma Cruz, Fernando Carac Saquic, Hortensia Reyes, Don Chepe, who trust you with their story. LA PRENDA was our attempt to make it shine and to make sure it is not lost on anybody who watches the film. That is why it was such an honor to receive last night the Icaro best documentary award the film had won in 2015 when it first screened in Guatemala. It is hard to measure the real impact of a film but this award means that the voices of Karin, Astrid, Kelly, Fernando and all the other protagonists of LA PRENDA have been heard in their own country.