By Naomi Orellana (translated by Ernesto M. Agraz)
Casa Roshell, the newest feature film by Chilean director Camila José Donoso is having its world premiere this week as part of the 67th edition of the Berlinale in the Forum section of the film festival, competing for Best First Feature Film.
Roshell Terranova is the owner of Club Roshell, a drag cultural center that each Tuesday and Friday offers “Personality Workshops” for men that like to explore gender limits and the art of transformism. The workshop includes vestry, make-up, heels, wig and accessories.
In her second film, the director of Naomi Campbel once again chooses to dive into the interstices of transexuality to build an oeuvre that oversteps film categories and goes further than the trans identity. More than the insistence on the topic, what links her new work with her last film is the artistic and political complicity that built throughout the screenings of Naomi Campbel in Mexico.
“During the exhibitions of Naomi Campbel, a film starring a transexual woman, I met important activists, among them was Roshell Terranova, who invited me to her private club, the place where this project deploys and where I met the people that star in it.”, says Camila.
Shot on 16mm and digital format, the Mexican-Chilean production will have its worldwide premiere on February 10th during the 67th International Film Festival of Berlin, representing both countries (Mexico and Chile) in the Forum Category. Casa Roshell was filmed thanks to the support of two Mexican production companies: Tonalá Lab, on their first film project, and Interior XIII. Post-production and its international run was possible thanks to the Chilean Audiovisual Fund.
“I started the film with a scholarship that permitted me to live in Mexico during the investigation and production process. When we looked for financing many production companies told me that it was impossible to make a movie with so little money. Finally, I received the support of Interior XIII and Cine Tonalá. Our production strategy happened because we didn’t want to wait to apply for funds, like many producers advised us. I insisted that we couldn’t wait and that we should work with what we had, otherwise we would still be waiting. It was shot in an intimate way with a reduced crew, without big production requirements and using the creative link I have with Roshell”, Camila explains.
In this new film, Camila José Donoso puts her confederate view on a form of life, more than exhibition, with the purpose to reinforce its mystery through images that appear from the gloom and dialogue that exposes, but also confuses.
Mexico - Chile, fiction - documentary, analogue - digital; Camila bets for a type of film that reaffirms its constitution from trans, beyond identity and that in Casa Roshell has found multiple mirrors where it can reflect and transfigure.