RIFF Movies Archive


Spain, 2013, HD - Color - 56' 51''

Mercedes Ortega

Mercedes Ortega

John Grillo (México), Alvaro Rodriguez (Guatemala), Juan Antonio Castaño (España)

Noemi Pérez

Pamela Hersch

Pamela Hersch

Mercedes Ortega


Four communities of Spanish-speaking women determined by a close coexistence in Guatemala, Spain and Mexico, with varied characteristics and occupations (engaging in prostitution at the edge of old age, being victims of gender violence, belonging to ethnic minorities or dedicating to monastic life), come together in a common peculiarity: to live isolated, excluded from society, but in a constant struggle to belong to it. In their daily life, these women share tasks, converge in the same problems and agree on their different struggles for survival. All of them overcome the obstacles by preserving their respective identities and beliefs, and by taking refuge in the strength of the communities to which they belong. A deep reflection made through the double meaning of the word "Captivated" regarding gender inequality, the role of women in different cultures, the amazing interaction developed between women who live together, and the paradox of isolation and freedom.

Mercedes Ortega has been involved in many successful audiovisual projects for the last 16 years, both as an actress and as a tv presenter. Some of the leading roles she has performed as a film star are “Fotos” (1996), “The Wonderfull Ice Cream Suit” (1998), “Tatawo” (2000) or “Sex” (2003). Aside from her acting career, Mercedes is also known in Spain for her presenting work for national and regional broadcasters like TVE, Antena3 or Tv Canaria. Due to her media experience as well as her deep concerns about the social issues regarding the female Spanish-speaking communities, she decided to go on the adventure of directing her first independent documentary film "Cautivas" ("Captives"), filmed in its entirety inside of a women's prison located in Mexico. This work made her win the "Best Canary Doc Feature" Award at the International Film Festival MiradasDoc 2011, as well as the "Best Work by a Woman" Award at the Bilbao International Unseen Film Festival 2013 (Festival Internacional Cine Invisible). Mercedes was also recognized by the local Administration with a Prize for her fight against domestic violence. Her second doc feature "Cautivadas" ("Captivated") has been subsidised by the Canary Islands Goverment during its development stage, and shot on locations at Mexico, Guatemala and Spain. The project was also selected for the Co-production Pitch which took place during last International Film Festival MiradasDoc 2012, winning the post-production prize. "Cautivadas" has been coproduced by TVE, the Spanish Public Broadcaster. Until now, it has competed in the Official Selection of DocsDF 2013 (Mexico) for the Best Mexican Feature, and has been exhibited in the Closing Gala of MiradasDoc 2013 (Spain).




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