DocumentaMadrid 2017

El Remolino

(The Swirl )

Laura Herrero Garvín
73' / 2016 / Mexico, Spain

First Prize for the Best Feature Length Documentary of the National Competition

Pedro is a farmer who defends his identity and dreams. His sister Esther fights for a better life for her daughter while sharing her world with us via a small camera. Both of them live in El Remolino, a tiny community in Chiapas which is affected every year when the Usumacinta River floods over. For them, life is like a whirlpool that swirls around as it travels along powered by its own internal cycles and the great cycle of nature.

Main Festivals & Awards

Official Selection Locarno Film Festival, Critics’ Week (2016)
Official Selection Morelia International Film Festival (2016)
Official Selection DocsMX International Documentary Festival of Mexico City (2016)
Official Selection Ambulante Travelling Documentary Film Festival, Mexico (2016)
Découvertes Selection, Cinélatino Documentary Film, Rencontres de Toulouse (2017)
Official Selection FULL FRAME Film Fest, USA (2017)

Mérida and Yucatán International Film Festival – Special Mention by FICMY Judges (2016)

Director's Biography

Born in Toledo (1985), Laura is currently studying towards a Master of Creative Documentary Film at Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona. She studied Telecommunications Engineering with a specialisation in Image and Sound and began to further her education in the area of film in San Francisco, CA, where she took various classes at the San Francisco Film Society and Berkeley Community Television, CA.

In 2010 she arrived in Mexico to study film and devote herself full-time to the field. Since her arrival in the country she has worked as a director, cinematographer and editor on various documentary projects.

In 2011 Laura was a member of the Emergenciamx filmmakers’ collective, which uses documentary film to depict and raise awareness of Mexico’s violent reality and its peoples struggle to combat it. She is one of the co-founders of La Sandía Digital, Laboratorio de Cultura Audiovisual A.C., where she currently works, mainly as creative director and as a cinematographer and editor. She has made some twenty short documentary films in various countries and a wide variety of human rights-related videos and campaigns. In 2012 she and Laura Salas co-directed the feature-length documentary
Rough Are the Days without Nothing. The film was produced by La Sandía Digital and she also worked on it as photographer and editor.

In 2016 Laura’s documentary debut,
The Swirl, premiered at the Locarno Film Festival and was selected at the Morelia Film Festival (MX), Ambulante(MX), Oaxaca IFF (MX), Camden IFF (USA), FULL FRAME (USA) and MIRADASDOC (ES), among others. She is currently conducting research for her next film, La Mami, which has won various development awards and has been included in the Europe-Latin America Co-Production Forum at the San Sebastián Film Festival. Laura’s works have been selected and have received awards at various film festivals and competitions in Mexico and abroad.

Laura has visited dozens of towns, communities and cities and considers herself to have good first-hand knowledge of the stories and people that populate that world that often remains untold.

More information

Director:Laura Herrero Garvín
Language: Spanish
English and spanish subtitled
Screenplay: Laura Herrero Garvín
Photography: Laura Herrero Garvín, Canek Kelly Guevara
Edition: Lorenzo Mora Salazar
Sound: Eloísa Diez, Josué Vergara, Rodrigo Frutos, Julio López
Music: Josué Vergara, Juan Cubas Fridman
Producers: Anaïs Vignal Novelo, Julio López Fernández
International Sales:
World Sales
Anaïs Vignal Novelo /


Saturday 6th 19:30

Monday 8th 19:30

Saturday 13th 19:30


(Cineteca screenings only)
From 3pm on 27 April

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© 2017 Ayuntamiento de Madrid