LA VOZ DE LOS SILENCIADOS

 [ VOICE OF THE VOICELESS ] 

2015

"Chaplin meets Eraserhead” in this
magical-neo-realist, modern day silent film.

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TRAILER

 

 

SYNOPSIS
 

Bricolagista's debut feature film, LA VOZ DE LOS SILENCIADOS takes us inside the mind and heartbreak of Olga, a deaf teenager brought from Latin America to New York City, under the false promise of attending a “Christian Sign Language School”. Upon arrival she enters a world of human trafficking, and life is turned upside-down as Olga is enslaved by an international criminal ring. Forced to beg on the subway, she uses courage, cunning, and even humor, to face an unimaginable nightmare-on-loop that ravages the audience. The film is based on actual events.
 

 

 

DIRECTOR'S STATEMENT

 

For years I had been noticing deaf people on the subway selling trinkets. In a New York chock-full of panhandling as performance art, my interactions with the deaf trinket-peddlers were something different, more peculiar. The person would put the trinket down next to you, and trust that by the time they returned from the other end of the train, you had read the card– the one that said, “I am deaf. Selling this for $1 to pay for my education. Please help. God bless you.” By then, you would have decided whether to offer a dollar, or ignore them. Unlike other panhandlers, the trinket sellers did not look people in the eye, and consciously made it a point to avoid invading anyone’s personal space.

In 1997, the NYPD uncovered what was really going on behind this illicit operation, and it became public knowledge that the trinket peddlers were slaves to an international crime syndicate. They had been lured to the US under false pretenses, and forced to do this demoralizing, repetitive work. They were all indeed deaf, but that was the only part of their routine that was factual. Modern day slavery, taking place in the largest city of the 'land of the free'– right in front of us, and nobody recognized it. 

I read about this in the newspapers and became obsessed with telling this story to the public. The news came and went in one busy week– people moved on, I didn’t. I kept coming back to the story, consumed with sharing what I believe is the perfect allegory for human greed. A decade later, the film is finally in front of you.

I wanted to make something challenging and cinematically unique. Of course silent films are the oldest form. But I wanted to do a modern silent, not a pastiche or homage to the golden era, and not as a gimmick to signify deafness. LA VOZ is a fully integrated silent movie, with a vibratory, intentionally low frequency sound design that puts the audience into Olga’s headspace.

Telling this story, in Olga's language, was the driving force behind LA VOZ. 

 


AWARDS

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BEST FEATURE FILM

Golden Goats Grand Prize
Ale Kino Poland 2014

BEST DIRECTOR

Maximón Monihan
St. Petersburg Beginning 2014

BEST SOUND DESIGN

Michael Coffman
St. Petersburg Beginning 2014

YOUNG CRITICS JURY AWARD

Mumbai IFF 2013


 

FESTIVALS

— • —

 
 

2015
Fajr Tehran IFF / Iran
San Francisco Indie Fest / USA

2014
Göteborg IFF / Sweden
Glasgow FF  / Scotland
Transilvania IFF / Romania
Istanbul IFF / Turkey
 Ale Kino IFF / Poland
St. Petersburg / Russia
Singapore IFF / Singapore
Galway Film Fleadh / Ireland
Zlín FF / Czech Republic
NXNE Toronto / Canada  

2013
Thessaloniki IFF / Greece
Mumbai IFF / India
Kerala IFF / India
Dharamshala IFF  / India