In his first feature film ‘Voy a desaparecer’, Coré Ruiz has managed to create a very personal Canarian fiction with his combination of drama and humor


• The film, which participated in MECAS during its project stage, is the crystallization of the style anticipated by the Gran-Canarian director’s previous short films, which were also selected at the Festival

• Raquel Herrera, co-screenwriter of the piece together with its director, and Abraham Santacruz star in this story of siblings who are immersed in an extreme situation in which they must deal with their family’s dark past and its consequences

Voy a desaparecer’s first screening will take place on Sunday, April 21, at Cine Yelmo Las Arenas

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Saturday, April 20, 2024. A supermarket cashier receives an unexpected visit from her brother, who has been released from prison on furlough after ten years there. The crime he committed is encrypted in the plot of Voy a desaparecer (I’m Gonna Disappear), Coré Ruiz’s first feature film: in its project stage, the Canarian filmmaker received expert advice from MECAS (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria International Film Festival’s Market of Almost-Finished Films), and won the OPEN ECAM, an award granted by the School of Cinematography and Audiovisual of the Community of Madrid. With a lot of work in between, Ruiz now releases a film that gives continuity to everything he has anticipated in his previous short films, in terms of style and of an unquestionable personal stamp in his conception of cinema as a visual art. Although in his case the story is always important. Voy a desaparecer will be screened as part of the Canarias Cinema section tomorrow Sunday, April 21, at Cine Yelmo Las Arenas (Screen 6, at noon and at 6:15 p.m.).

Indeed, Coré Ruiz materializes in his first feature-length work those personal narrative ways he has been strengthening in his short films Heavy de explicar (2017), Osito (2017), Rivero (2015) or Estoy con Bea (2014), previously selected by the Festival. A screenwriter by vocation, the script of Voy a desaparecer is, of course, his son, although on this occasion he’s written it together with “unique and wonderful” Raquel Herrera, who also played the main character of the film. She and Abraham Santacruz form a paradoxical pair of siblings, considering that both actors “are only children” in real life, the filmmaker emphasized.

A dark family history is at the origin of the demons consuming both characters during the story  Ruiz began to shape “when you turn 30 and you start reflecting on your own teenage years. I began to remember what I was like. I did have an incident when I was 19 years old in which nothing happened, but I did think about what would’ve happened to me if I ended up in jail because of an accident. That’s one of my fears, those accidental misfortunes. Thinking about that, together with Raquel, we wound up writing this script during a fall in Fuerteventura, while she was working in terrible conditions and I was fending for myself in any way I could. With all the irony that came from being from the Canary Islands and being in a place so tourist-dependent like Corralejo.”

The Canarian director admits that “we were also inspired to set the story in a touristic environment. And it is not the theme of the film, but perhaps it does hint that maybe we can do things a little better with respect to tourism.”

Ruiz, who grew up between the Escaleritas neighborhood, in the capital of Gran Canaria, and Marzagán, is “quite aware of that ironic touch in everything I do. And yes, I have made short films focusing on humor. In Voy a desaparecer I do what I like, which is to twist genres.”  “I still feel,” he said, “that Spanish cinema lacks a little more humor and sense of risk. It’s a personal perception. I think it’s very important that there’s always that bit of humor. If your film has a powerful message, it won’t lose it because of that. Things are more realistic when they have both layers, drama and humor. That’s also our way of writing,” alluding to his creative partnership with Herrera.

The director is “very happy” with her and Abraham Santacruz. “They went all out during the filming, and I’m very happy with them. Raquel was maturing this character since 2016, while Abraham joined less than a year before the shooting.” Ruiz stated that “I really like actors’ films, with three-dimensional characters. That’s partly why most of my short films are longer than fifteen minutes. Here we had over an hour and a half to develop their role.” And “the three of us did a lot of work to break down the script. With two weeks of rehearsals before shooting, to get to know each other well, to break the ice, so there would be no walls between us. They were totally up to the task. And what we worked on the most was to make them listen to each other, to get them involved with each other. Establishing the lines they should strictly adhere to and also that they, in other things, could have some freedom to soar a little bit.”

The filming lasted five weeks, in the touristic area of southern Gran Canaria. Their goal was to create a product with its own identity, both in terms of narrative and the purely visual, because Ruiz takes “the aesthetic and thematic aspects quite seriously, so that it can have a personal stamp. I haven’t released any short film that didn’t come from my guts.”

The Gran Canarian filmmaker recalls how “in 2019 I was at MECAS, and of course it was an important step. Afterwards we had to keep working hard, but that meant above all a good pat on the back. Something important because for me and for the producer, Silvia Sánchez, it was our first film. And that makes it harder to get financing. At MECAS we had some tutorials with Agustina Chiarino, the producer of Las Herederas, which went pretty good.”

Voy a desaparecer will be in theaters distributed by Begin Again Films. Before that, it will travel to the United States, specifically to Austin, Texas, at the Las Américas Film Festival. Ruiz has also admitted that “we have high hopes for Latin America, too.”

I’m Gonna Disappear

An important detail of Ruiz’s film is its title, which ties in with the musical theme with which the story closes: a song, I’m Gonna Disappear, by EvilMrSod. He is a Canarian musician who lives and works in Germany, and who the filmmaker discovered in a compilation of island bands called Lavadora Sónica (Sonic Washing Machine). The director is also a multi-instrumentalist musician who, after having played in several groups, now works as such in the band Usted. He took another of song by Fajardo from that album. “Everything that sounds here are Canarian bands and own compositions. With some lyrics by Raquel and the film’s composer, Gabriel Vidanauta,” said Ruiz. “Will all my films be named after a song? It wouldn’t be that much of a surprise, really,” the Gran Canarian filmmaker amusedly reflected, remarking that his “involvement with music is very strong.”

He remembers, regarding the Las Palmas de Gran Canaria International Film Festival, “the posters of the first edition, the first time I went to see an indie film, the many times I’ve been there as a spectator, and the presentation of my short films, starting in 2014: I feel that those have been milestones for me.”. Ruiz noted that “what I like to do is fiction, in a different way, I think, and with the resources I had it was difficult for me to be in other festivals. I have played with a disadvantage away from home, and in that sense the Festival here has been very important, because I knew I had a chance.” “Also,” he added, “this shows that the Festival is opened to other things.”

Voy a desaparecer is one of the feature films programmed in the Canarias Cinema section of this 23rd Las Palmas de Gran Canaria International Film Festival, which also includes La hojarasca (Macu Machín), Un volcán habitado (David Pantaleón/José Víctor) and Una casa en el pueblo (Domingo J. González). There will be two screenings of each of these films.

The Las Palmas de Gran Canaria International Film Festival, organized by the Culture area of the Gran-Canarian capital’s City Council through Promoción de la Ciudad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, has received public assistance by the ICAA [Institute of Cinematography and Audiovisual Arts], the program for the internationalization of Spanish culture, PICE Visitantes, of Acción Cultural Española (AC/E), from the Consejería de Universidades, Ciencia e Innovación y Cultura del Gobierno de Canarias, as well as public support from Promotur Turismo Islas Canarias.

Among the Festival’s collaborators we may find Fundación Auditorio Teatro, Cines Yelmo, Las Arenas Shopping Center and Hotel Cristina by Tigotan, places which also function as venues or hold activities of the film event; as well as other institutions and companies such as Sagulpa, Hospitales San Roque, Jameson, Ikigai, Cientouno Group, el Centro de Cultura Audiovisual de Gran Canaria, Audiovisuales Canarias, Music Library &SFX, Blackout Films and International Bach Festival. Likewise, its market, MECAS, has been possible thanks to the sponsorship of the Gran Canaria Film Commission-Sociedad de Promoción Económica de Gran Canaria and the support of Canary Islands Film and Proexca.

The University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, the Mid Atlantic University, the CIFP Felo Monzón Grau-Bassas, the Canary Islands Film Institute, the Escuela Oficial de Idiomas, Digital 104, the Audiovisual Cluster of the Canary Islands, CIMA Asociación de Mujeres Cineastas y de Medios Audiovisuales, the Cartagena International Film Festival, the Gijón International Film Festival, the Barcelona Independent Film Festival, Toyota Canarias and Very Good Script are also collaborators.

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