Sombras en la Noche Paraguay Cinema

Growing up in Paraguay there was nothing like Sombras en la Noche, the first TV series of  movies made in Paraguay, the movies were spoken in Guarani, one of the first to have our native language on TV. Sombras de la noche was about the Pombero, the Jasy Jatere, our popular beliefs were finally represented!

We were trill every week to see a new chapter, and the show was a big inspiration to all of us here at Solar Map Project to tell our stories. Let's learn more about the series Sombras en la noche, with an interview with the creator and one of the actors on the show : Carlos Tarabal. 

Check below for the full length spanish interview. 

 

"When the TV show I was acting on finished, the producers asked that I propose a TV show to fill it's slot. I had been wanting to do something with the popular beliefs of Paraguay for some time already, since living in the countryside in the 80's when I fell in love with the stories of Pombero, Luison, Jasy Jatere, and others. I was excited by the idea of doing something truly Paraguayan that the audience could identify with in a way TV productions had not yet been able to achieve. The inspiration for the format arose from my country experiences, from my memories of Don Pastor, an elderly man who told us stories in Guarani around a campfire.
The popular beliefs of the Guarani are part of the mystique of it's people, it's soul, it's real religion. Not the one that was imposed. They are not myths and legends, but popular beliefs, and that's something we tried to demystify in Sombras. People believe in them, even now.
That's why I decided Sombras should be filmed in Guarani with Spanish subtitles. Without knowing it I was creating the new Paraguayan cinema, something unique and revolutionary. Nothing like this had ever been done before. In 100 years of Paraguayan film we had maybe 6 or 7 movies, now we were producing one a week! It was a huge challenge."

 

carlos tarabal clotide

 

 "I decided to incorporate a narrator to the show, Sortilego, that I played, and later I invited Clotilde to the project so we were two hosts; Sortilego and Martirio (Sortilege and Martyrdom in English.) She was my best friend at time, we had bonded through our passion for acting.
I had known Hernan[Hernán Jaeggli, Tarabal's writing partner in the TV show] for a long time. We had worked together when I acted on a show he was a co-screen writer on. The show didn't prosper, but our friendship did. We said to each other we would do something together some day, so when I got a grant from the INC to make the show the first thing I did was call Hernan to help write the scripts. Our union was key for the success of Sombras.
We couldn't really follow our scripts because of lack of time, Sombras was recorded between Friday night at 10 until Saturday evening at 6. About 18-20 hours for a whole movie with more than 40 scenes! That's like a Guiness world record! We had to sacrifice a lot of quality to make it happen, but we got it done. I love each and everyone of the chapters, they are all special to me, perhaps the ones of the Luison a bit more. The chapters that had the Pombero and Luison were the most popular ones, such as "Pombero's Girlfriend" or "Luizon Hunter."

 

sombras en la noche

 

"The first time we entered a cemetery to shoot scenes of Luizon we were in the middle of recordings when a patrol car full of police arrived and, holding us at gunpoint, made us all lie on the ground. We were almost arrested accused of tomb profanation and performing satanic rituals. We showed the officer  we were recording a TV show. [Fortunately] one of the officers  had watched our show, so they let us continue recording, but it was a difficult moment. They almost hauled us off to jail, dog and all! (A rottwailer that played the part of Luison, and it's owner.)"

 

 

 " My advice to young Paraguayan filmmakers: Never betray your essence. Your motivation has to be pure, to use the gift of movies to serve the community. The mysticism has to be present to achieve the magic of movie making."

 

sombras de la noche paraguay cinema

 

We thank Carlos and the whole team from Sombras en la Noche to give us such a special show and start the movement of film in Paraguay. True pioneers that we humbly follow.

 

tesoro escondido hidden treasure

 

Cómo surgió la idea de realizar "Sombras en la Noche"? Como se adhieren Clotilde Cabral y Hernán Jaeggi al proyecto y cómo fue trabajar con ellos?

-Al terminar un programa de Cable llamado POKER DE HUMOR en el cual yo actuaba , los productores de VIDEO DATA TELEVISION  me ofrecen el espacio para que presente un proyecto de un programa para ponerlo  en ves de POKER. Yo hacia tiempo que queria hacer algo con las CREENCIAS POPULARES  del Paraguay ya que estuve viviendo en el monte en los años 80 y ahi me enamore de las creencias populares al escuchar las historias de Pomberos Luisones, Jasy Jatere  y otras . Queria hacer algo ficcionado ya que al ser actor me entusiasmaba la idea de actuar en mis propias peliculas. Me atraia la idea tambien de hacer algo realmente nacional donde el publico se sintiera identificado ya que todas las producciones de TV hasta esa fecha no lo habian logrado y es por eso que decidi que tenia que ser en guarani subtitulado al español , sin saberlo estaba creando el nuevo cine NACIONAL , algo unico y  revolucionario para esa epoca en la TV paraguaya. Nunca se habia hecho algo asi . Una pelicula por semana !!! Paraguay tenia en 100 años de cine 6 o 7 peliculas. El reto era gigante. Pero decidi que era el momento pues existia la tecnologia para lograrlo. La idea surge de mi esperiencia campesina .El recuerdo de Don Pastor ( anciano que vivía donde yo estaba a 230 kms. de Asuncion) contando las historias frente a una fogata en el medio de la noche me inspiraron y me dieron la idea para el formato. Don Pastor relataba las historias en guarani y mi secretario me traducia al español, recordar a Don Pastor relatando estas historias e imaginando las excenas  completaron la idea

Decidi incorporar un presentador (SORTILEGO) que yo interpretaria , luego al invitar a Clotilde al Proyecto serian 2 los presentadores (Sortilego y Martirio) Clotilde era mi mejor amiga en esa epoca y nos unia la pasion por la actuacion.  Consegui el dinero para realizar SOMBRAS  con una licitacion que gane de la INC ( INDUSTRIA NACIONAL DEL CEMENTO) en 1992.
 A Hernan lo conocia hace mucho tiempo cuando estaba haciendo un programa en canal 13 llamado BLOP en 1988. El dueño de Clapper estudio (productor de ese programa) me invita a un proyecto cinematografico sobre Madam Linch del cual Hernan era el co guionista . El proyecto no prospero pero si la amistad entre Hernan y yo que siempre dijimos que hariamos algo juntos .Por supuesto que cuando surgio el proyecto y consegui el dinero lo primero que hice fue llamar a Hernan para escribir los guiones . Al poco tiempo ya estabamos co escribiendo los guiones de SOMBRAS . Creo que esta union fue la clave del exito del proyecto.

 

paraguay demonio

Cómo se originaron las diferentes ideas para cada episodio de la serie? Podrías contarnos 2 o 3 de las que más se destacan para vos?"Sombras en la Noche" fue pionero en usar el Guaraní en la televisión paraguaya. Cómo reaccionaron los canales a la propuesta? Cómo reaccionó el público?

Mi idea original era que las propias personas que contaban las historias fueran grabadas contandolas y salieran al pricipio del capitulo (como si fueran Don Pastor), luego los presentadores y a continuacion la ficcion. Eso resuto por un corto  tiempo pero luego se fueron acabando las buenas historias y tuve que empezar a crear las historias que luego  Hernan  se encargaba de guionar,  yo terminaba reescribiendo el guion antes de las gravaciones. Tambien Hernan aporto unas cuantas historias de su creacion. Por lo general en los capitulos que aparezco como co guionista son de mi creacion las historias. Tambien yo hacia el guion tecnico, que no podia respetar a total cabalidad por falta de tiempo ya que SOMBRAS se grabava de viernes a las 22 horas a sabados a las 18  hrs. Aproximadamente entre  18 a 20 horas de grabacion para una pelicula. TODO UN RECORD GUINESS !!!! Mas de 40 escenas !!!! Teniamos que sacrificar mucho la calidad para poder llegar. Pero lo logramos. Amo todos y cada uno de los capitulos, todos son especiales para mi. Quizas los de Luison un poco mas.

 

Cuáles son los episodios más populares?
Los episodios mas populares son los de POMBERO y LUISON . La novia del Pombero y Cazador de Luizones por ejemplo

 

Según tu perspectiva, en comparación a otros países de la zona de América del Sur, es la creencia en los mitos y leyendas fuerte en Paraguay? Por qué?
 Las creencias populares de la Nacion Guarani son la mistica de este pueblo, su alma . Es su verdadera religion y no la impuesta. No son Mitos y Leyendas , son CREENCIAS POPULARES  y eso es algo que dismitificamos con SOMBRAS, El pueblo cree en esto.Hasta ahora.

 

Cuán grande es la influencia de la cultura Guaraní en las creencias populares del Paraguay?Podrías compartir alguna anécdota referente a los primeros días de producción?Cuál fue el momento más asustador que haz tenido durante la producción de la serie?Cuál fue el momento más divertido que haz tenido durante la producción de la serie?
La primera ves que entramos a un cementerio para gravar escenas de LUIZON estabamos en plena grabacion y en eso llega una patrullera cargada de policias que no encañonan y nos ordenan cuerpo a tierra. Nos quieren llevar a la comisaria detenidos, alguien denuncio que estabamos profanando las tumbas y haciendo ritos satanicos, pero le mostramos al comisario que estabamos gravando un programa para canal 13 y al ver las escenas uno de los oficiales dijo que habia visto uno de los programas . Nos dejaron seguir con la gravacion pero pasamos por un momento dificil. Casi no llevaron detenidos con perro y todo !!! ( un rottwailer que hacia del luison y su dueño)
Los momentos mas divertidos fueron durante el rodaje de PERURIMA y PLATA ESCURRIDIZA ya que se tratan de los unicos capitulos con formato de comedia.

 

Como forjador de la producción cinematográfica en Paraguay, cuál es tu consejo a los jóvenes que desean ser realizadores?
Mi consejo a los nuevos realizadores es que no traicionen su esencia. La motivación tiene que ser pura y con el afán de servicio a su comunidad a través de su DON. La mistica tiene que estar presente para que se logre la magia del cine.

The Urban Outfitters Creative Grant

 

What's your BIG idea?

My BIG idea is to raise awareness of the destruction of thousands years old rock art found in the remote jungles of Paraguay, and thereby preserve a vital part of the culture of its guardians, the Pai Tavytera Indians, by making a documentary titled "The Solar Map Project!"
 

https://vimeo.com/59375027

  
 
Let me introduce myself. My name is Frank Weaver, I started working with the company in '08 as a sales associate. I am currently the Men's Manager at the Mall at Millennia in Orlando, FL.
I love working for Urban Outfitters because it empowers me to be creative, and has a great philosophy of "shared fate." I am super stoked that the company is giving this creative grant because for me,  the more time I have , the more quality interview and visuals I can capture in this documentary.
I like to say this project its my "life's work" since I wanted to make this documentary since I was a child. Early this year, I was able to successfully raise 15 thousand dollars on kickstarter to fund the project. A dream come true indeed. I have the money. Now, all I need is the time!
Let me tell you more about my  project...
 
Right in the "Heart of South America" in Paraguay, lies a hidden mystery...
 
 
 
 
Ancient inscriptions believed to be between 5 to 20 thousand years old.
 

 
We know so little of who made them and what they might mean...
 
 
 
 
 
                                                        The mythology and oral storytelling of the native Guaranies, hold vital clues to understand this mystery...
 
 
Due to the encroachment of "civilization," these ancient inscriptions are being lost at a distubing rate. Slash and burn agriculture, ranching, and vandalism are causing irreparable damage to these archeological treasures, and the culture of the natives is being lost in the process.
 
 
 
 Once I was initiated into the tribe, I received the name of "Cacique Americano," the "American Chief". I was given this name as a symbol of my new family's trust in my abilities to preserve their culture by recording their ancient songs and giving a voice to their pleas to protect their land, their heritage, their life. I hope to be able to use my position to gain insight into the mythology and spiritual believes of the Pai Tavytera, to decipher the ancient rock art, and give them a voice to speak their culture.  
 

 
 
 
 
This project involves filming in remote wildernesses and Indian territories deep in South American jungles. Under best circumstances, the travel time from Orlando, Fl to the film locations in Amambay is three days, each way. I been with the company for 5 years now, but I would only have about a week of vacation to go back home to film this documentary. That would give me only one day in the field! If I were to get the most vital support I need from U.O, 3 weeks time, I would use one week for travel but have two entire weeks to visit, interview, and film these inscriptions and get interviews with the local Shamans and Spiritual Leaders. I have spoken to my store manager Daniel Fergurson for me to take my vacation in September, the slowest time this time of year, but that still would only be a week. 

 

 
Our project has no financial gain. In fact, I am making the documentary Creative Commons.
That means that once released anyone will be able to freely downland and share it.
My Big Idea is for this story to reach the largest audience possible.
  
 
I have gotten a lot of positive press about the project on magazine and newspapers such as Popular Science Magazine, Archeology News,
main Paraguayan Newspapers, and even appeared on TV!
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
There are film festivals throughout the world that are very interested in showing the documentary once it's finished, such as Global Peace Film Festival and Asuncion Film.
 

I want to also say how awesome it is to have received support for this project from the U.O team here in Orlando. Ranging from our District Managers, to my fellow managers, to merchandisers and associates. They believe in me and in the project. I have their full support. They even helped financially by donating to the Kickstarter fund, and donating to buy solar lights to given out as donations. (Solar Lights is the most affordable way to make the biggest impact on their lives)
 

 Also when an article came out on a Native American art Magazine, I was feature on our district's Instagram!

I am one of the few non natives to have access to some of these sites, since I have deep respect and admiration for their culture, an have full permision to film them and to record their oral storytelling. This documentary needs to be done as soon as possible as rock art is degrading quickly. I have the money for the equipment all I need is the time!

 

Grant Proposal

 
Where will the money go?
I will use around $1200 to pay for the plane ticket, and the rest to buy 15 solar lamps to be given to the Indians.
 
What will I do with my time?
 
Week 1: Travel from Orlando, FL to Amambay, Paraguay. That takes 3 days at best. Once in the field I will meet face-to-face with the local leaders, authorities, and collaborators. Once this is taken care of, I will immediately start filming and visiting the inscription sites. Most of the sites are difficult to reach due to the state of roads in this region.
A- Ita Guazu site, privately own, site with the most inscriptions and the most in danger of fire damage.
B- Lorito Picada, site where the Solar Map stone was found, easy to get to by vandals.
C- Cerro Guazu, main spiritual site of the Pai Tavytera Indians.
 
Week 2: This week, I will visit the reservations for additional footage: lifestyle, traditions, rituals, and songs. I want to record this ancient song that has never been recorded, that last 24 hours!
A- Interview with Shaman Galeano Suarez
B- Interview with Na Silvia, spiritual leader.
C- Interview with local park Rangers.
 
Week 3: Time-lapses and Landscapes shots, and travel back to Orlando.
A- Sun rises and Sunset.
B- Landscapes.

 

 

 

 

And we get to blog too??

I love blogging! I had plan to send some updates from the field. You can check my blog updates for the Solar Map Project here, and blogs from my past projects here.
Even though I will have limited internet access traveling through remote areas, I will still be able to upload amazing pictures and cool updates from the field once or twice a week.

 

 

 

To recap, my goal is to produce a world-class documentary highlighting the need to preserve, protect, and promote the ancient Inscriptions and their guardians the Pai Tavytera. I wish to travel during this month of September which is the slowest time in our store, and it is Spring-time in Paraguay which makes for beautiful footage.

You can read more about my project on the kickstarter page or in our website.

Thank you and look forward to hear from you all!
-Frank Weaver