The shooting of “Quién vio los templos caer”, a half-length movie produced by ESCAC films, finishes

The film rescues the figure of the legendary “Chorrojumo” and has had the support of Film in Granada

As a Bachelor Thesis that concludes with the four years of the Official Degree in Cinematography at ESCAC (Escuela Superior de Cine y Audiovisual de Cataluña), the young Granada-born filmmaker Lucía Alonso Santos has just faced the challenge of getting behind a camera, directing a crew and telling her first story through images and sounds. A real challenge that she has taken to her homeland through a character who was very familiar to her: Mariano Fernández Santiago “Chorrojumo”, the popular Granadian who was born in 1824 and who, according to the legend, was struck down by a lightning in the forests of the Alhambra.

Now, 115 years after his death, “Chorrojumo” has once again strolled with his Goyaesque costume, his bushy sideburns and his walking stick through the streets and plazas of Granada, under the astonished gaze of tourists and Granadians themselves. The Plaza Isabel la Católica, Calle Reyes Católicos, Fuente de las Batallas or the Mirador de San Nicolás have been some of the locations of this medium-length movie, produced by ESCAC Films –Catalonia’s School of Cinema‘s producing institution- as one of the collective Bachelor Thesis of the 2017/2021 promotion, which after months of pre-production has been able to film in Granada for some days.

“Chorrojumo” walks again 115 years later through the centric streets of Granada. Photo: J. Grosso / Film in Granada

Chorrojumo’s return has been possible thanks to Lucía Alonso Santos (Granada, 1998), author of the original script and the film’s director; her colleagues from ESCAC, who have worked as a team assuming all the functions and roles of a professional filming crew; the financing methods from the School itself and the support of local institutions and companies such as “Film in Granada”, Granada’s City Council, Supermercados Covirán and Cervezas Alhambra.

The first vice president and deputy for Culture, Fátima Gómez, has indicated that “the main objective of “Film in Granada” is to facilitate all kinds of shootings and recordings in our province, not only of feature films and large series, but also of smaller projects, such as this one from ESCAC, which has been a first and great experience for a group of young filmmakers, who will surely return to Granada to shoot their future professional projects”.

The film’s producer, Guillem Mula (Barcelona, 1999), stressed that “the filming process has been very intense emotionally speaking since it is the most complex we have faced so far. We had to manage a number of material and personnel responsibilities that were so new yet so enriching for us. However, everyone in Granada has helped us, from institutions such as the Provincial and the City Councils or our sponsors Supermercados Covirán and Cervezas Alhambra, to small local businesses and many other people from Granada, both through individual and crowdfunding actions”.

Leading actor José Fernández «Pepín» during a break in Calle Reyes Católicos. Photo: J. Grosso / Film in Granada

Nostalgia for the old Granada

“The inhabitants of this land fell into an eternal lethargy and no longer remember who they are, or what this place is. Now they live in a historyless time, in a timeless time. What is left of our people? Who will remember us when everything we did is gone? ” says the voiceover of the cantaor Curro Albayzín in the film’s trailer. This is part of filmmaker Lucía Alonso Santos’ narrative and poetic approach for her first film.

The director stated that “after four years studying and living in Barcelona I have managed to bring ESCAC to Granada. This film tries to explore the relationship between identity, space and the people that inhabit that space, and I wanted to do it in my home city, comparing the past and the present, old Granada and today’s Granada ”.

Young director Lucía Alonso, giving directions to the actors. Photo: J. Grosso / Film in Granada

“Quién vio los templos caer” (which translates to Who saw the temples fall) tells the story of “Chorrojumo”, a legendary character who has wandered in silence through the streets of Granada for 183 years and that laments over the fall of the city. The infinite limbo that characterises the protagonist, played by the non-professional actor José Fernández “Pepín”, is interrupted by the arrival of a young Moroccan (Anad Derbai) who brings an old key with him. Together they will begin a journey through the ruins and spaces that have yet disappeared, or are on their way to do it, of present-day Granada, in search of the young man’s ancestors’ house, who were the last expelled Moors and whom he still has some memories of.

The film has been shot in its entirety over eleven days in the city of Granada, with a 15 professionals crew and a 16-millimeter Arriflex camera. It is one of the ten end-of-degree projects selected by ESCAC for 2021. They are now starting the post-production phase and it is scheduled to premiere in Granada and Barcelona during the spring of 2022.