Sand Path is short documentary / road movie that unites the European and the African culture, proposing from an individual point of view a universal concept: If human and cultural values, as a global good, were above political interests, would there still be wars? What would happen if emigration was a free right?
In the history of humanity, emigration has always been a reality. This has involved, to a greater or lesser extent, learning to tolerate diversity among different cultures.
There are two ways of assimilating this difference: One is, as the custom dictates, looking more at the differences than at what unites, hereby generating fear, hatred and mistrust. The other is accepting that we are more equal than different and that we can enrich ourselves by appreciating unknown values, unifying them with the own.
Humanity is a great living being that grows and develops, where races tend to mix and, therefore, to disappear. This brings us to a more global consciousness and unity: We live on the same space of the universe and we need peace with ourselves and with the environment to be able to continue developing.
Sand Path tells this story, from a personal perspective: The Spanish-German director Aïda Ballmann travels in Senegal to the places where her parents lived before she was born. This adventure wakes up thoughts about humanity in Aïda who feels result of this cultural mixture as she identifies herself with the African lifestyle but also with the Canary Islands´ social functioning and the German way of thinking.
Title: Sand path
Gender: Short documentary film, road movie about social issues
Director: Aïda Ballmann
Production company: Arteria Films
Countries: Senegal, Gambia, Europa
Languages: English, German, Spanish, Ollof and French
Camara: Sony Exmor R SteadyShot
Script, production, camara, direction: Aïda Ballmann
Edition: Génesis Lence
Color correction and stopmotion: Selu Vega
Music: Kiko Castro, Eustaquio Álvarez, Denis Singila, Atty
Sound mixing: Arteria films
Thanks to: Family Ballmann, Cheikh Coli and family, Abdoulaye Diedhiou and family, Lamin Manneh and family, Eva Gamallo, Lamin Tamba, Lars Ostmann, Neighbours of Baja Kunda, Ginac and Djembering, Jerejef Organisation, JJ Montero, Alexis W, José Carlos Domínguez and, specially to Jordi Suñol for his help and love to the children. Rest in peace.
Four chapters are shown in this documentary, filled with vivid images, accompanied by the voice-over from Aïda Ballmann and traditional African music that is mixed with European music. The chapters are:
1. Contrast (cultural difference between Europe and Africa)
2. Integration (in the African routine)
3. Encounter (with “lost” friends of Aïda’s parents)
4. Return (of the Ballmann family to Gambia and Senegal)
Aïda Ballmann, actress and director, tells the story of how she perceives the cultural contrast as a positive aspect of which the human being can benefit, choosing the positive values of different cultures and assuming them as their own.
Ballmann Sister’s and the parents, Kitabo and Aminata, who emigrated to Senegal and from there to the Canary Islands in search of paradise on earth.
Coli Family, friends from Kitabo and Aminata. They housed the parents of Aïda Ballmann for several years, integrating them in the clan. (Senegal)
Diedhou Family, friends from Kitabo and Aminata. (Senegal)
Lamin Tamba, artist and friend of Kitabo. (Senegal)
Manneh Family, friends of Aïda Ballmann. (Gambia)
Senegal: Dakar, Ziguinchor, Kap Skirring, Boucotte, Djémbering,…
Gambia: Baja Kunda, Banjul, Ginac,…
Europa: El Hierro (Canarias, Spain) & Venice (Italy)
SCRIPT, PRODUCTION, CAMARA AND DIRECTION
Aïda Ballmann, she is a Spanish-German actress and director, writer, camera and producer of this project. Known as an actress for her participation in series such as El tiempo entre costuras, Águila Roja, Lo que escondían sus ojos, Brigada de fenómenos, etc. And featured in films such as The Extraodinary Tale and La velocidad de nuestros pensamientos. Awarded with three awards as best actress, she begins with Sand Path her career as director, following the need of sharing her realities and offering different points of view to the spectator.
What brought Aïda Ballmann to start this trip was, on the one side, being tired of the European routine, the anxiety of running after goals letting the present go by, and, on the other side, the curiosity of getting to know the past of her parents before she was born. The result is a documentary and reflections on humanity and migration.
Génesis Lence, editor, director and photographer. Known for her work in documentaries like Los fantasmas del deseo from Paco Millán, Vida is Antarctica for DNA and CSIC, Innovación Biomédica, Houston tenemos un problema from Álvaro Toepke and the short film Sordas (director). www.genesislence.com
COLOUR CORRECTION AND STOPMOTION
Selu Vega, award-winning documentary and travel photographer, known for his book Indianos en La Palma, isleños en Cuba. www.seluvega.es
SOUND MIXING AND MUSIC
Kiko Castro, director, actor, musician and sound technician. Director of post-production and dubbing studio Arteria Films. He has worked in featured films and documentaries like La marcha indignada, Cubillo, Historia de un crimen de estado, Los chicos del puerto, No culpes al karma de lo que te pasa gilipollas, Maresía, A garden in the city,… www.arteriafilms.com
Eustaquio Álvarez, producer, arranger, musician in Ynsyde and composer of music for movies like Síndrome de ti, Expediente en negro, The Britannic, Mine,… www.eustaquioalvarez.com
Denis Singila, Atty: Traditional music (Senegal)
JJ Montero, press officer with a wide experience in audiovisual projects like La vida en llamas, Línea de meta, The extraordinay tale, A lonely sun story, 321 días en Michigan, Los niños salvajes,... www.jjmontero.es