CASTELLS

D 2006 – Director: Gereon Wetzel – Original language: catalan – Subtitles: english

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Our Award Winner!

There is an old tradition in Catalonia. It is the tradition of Castells, of building towers made out of people. Whole families dedicate their lives to training in the art of climbing on top of each other to create giant human towers of up to 10 metres high and compete in market places throughout the region. The teamwork must be perfect – the slightest mistake could be fatal. This 200 year-old tradition is not only a national sport but also a symbol of pride and strong ties to a community and an emblem of cultural independence.

Gereon Wetzel's film follows the members of the "Colla Joves", a team at the very epicentre of the Castell movement, through a summer full of crises, twists and turns. The constant competition with their main rival "Colla Vella" from the same town raises high expectations. The tension reaches its peak as the local derby on the day of Saint Ursula approaches. "You can lose the whole year through, but on the day of Saint Ursula there must be a victory." Everything depends on the anxious five-year-old Zoraida who has to climb to the very top of the giant human tower. Castells is full of fascinating and beautiful images of an extravagant sport, with people balancing in the air.

Award: Documentary:Filmaward of Bayerischer Rundfunk and Telepool, DOK.FEST 2006

Writer: Gereon Wetzel. Camera: Josef Mayerhofer. Sound: Stefan Ludwig, Ali Zojaji, Daniel Samer. Editing: Gereon Wetzel, Jörg Adolph. Music: Francesc Cassú. Production: Sphinx Media / HFF München. Producer: Philipp Wundt. Length: 88 min.