Local Sightings 2020 – Borrufa [Online]

View this program on-demand
Sep. 18–27, 2020

All screenings include filmmaker intro and Q&A!


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Roland Dahwen
1h 50m


* All screenings will include an introduction by the filmmaker, followed by a post-screening Q&A with director Roland Dahwen, facilitated by NWFF Executive Director, Vivian Hua! Co-presented with Interbay Cinema Society & Engauge Experimental Film Festival (Oct. 28–Nov. 1)! ***
An immigrant family’s life in Oregon is disrupted when Leonora (Alma García) discovers that her husband (Antonio Luna) has a second family. She wants to leave, but must take care of her grown son (Heldáy de la Cruz), who suffers from a mysterious illness, and her dying mother (Amanda Consuelo García). Haunted by memories, Leonora struggles to choose between her responsibilities and her desires.
Shot on 16mm film in long, thoughtful takes, Roland Dahwen’s debut feature is a film of uncanny perception and preternatural maturity.

About the filmmaker:

Roland Dahwen is a filmmaker whose work explores migration, race, and memory. His video installations have shown in festivals, galleries and museums in the United States, Brazil, Cuba, Italy, Germany, and the Netherlands. He is a recipient of the Oregon Media Arts Fellowship and an artist-in-residence in Portland Institute for Contemporary Art’s Creative Exchange Lab. Borrufa is his first feature film.

Director's statement:

Borrufa was filmed with Super 16mm color filmstock (Kodak Vision3 250D) and sync sound. Director Roland Dahwen worked with nonprofessional actors to create long, uncut scenes with only one or two takes and minimal camera movements. One of Dahwen’s motivations was to make a film about undocumented immigrants in the United States, featuring characters whose lives were not defined by politics or legislation. The plot and scenes were written in collaboration with the actors, based on their real lives, habits, clothing, houses, and families. The director and actors rehearsed for months before production, never using written scripts. Instead, the director sent audio recordings of the dialogue for the actors to memorize. Based on a true story, the film’s plot is defined by implied, unsaid dramas and subtle allusions that unfold beneath the surface.

Back to Festival Catalog

Local Sightings Film Festival 2020 [Online]

Presented by Seattle’s Northwest Film Forum, the 23rd Annual Local Sightings Film Festival [Online] virtually showcases creative communities from throughout the Pacific Northwest. The 2020 program, which runs from September 18-27, features a competitive selection of curated shorts and feature film programs, inviting regional artists to experiment, break, and remake popular conceptions around filmmaking and film exhibition.

Local Sightings 2020 champions emerging and established talent, supports the regional film industry, and promotes diverse media as a critical tool for public engagement. This year’s festival also celebrates NWFF’s 25th Anniversary as an organization.


Vote for your favorite films by 12pm PDT on Closing Day, Sep. 27; BEST FEATURE and BEST SHORT winners receive a future screening opportunity at NWFF!

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