Julie Schroell

Luxembourg, 2019 / 82 min / Spanish OV with French subt. / documentary

Luxembourgish Premiere

A canal project in Nicaragua linking the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean raises questions on identity for the people living by the San Juan river.

The mythic San Juan River located between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans in Nicaragua, symbolises 500 years of colonisation and exploitation of resources and has seen over 70 canal projects fail. Now, a Chinese businessman is attempting to control the interoceanic route that Columbus had desperately been looking for when he reached the “New World”, thus creating both discontent and hopes for a better life among the local population. Actor and teacher Yemn returns to his native village El Castillo and starts a youth theatre group, a sanctuary for open discussion and critical thinking. While their families struggle with poverty and are often forced to migrate to neighbouring Costa Rica in order to make ends meet, the kids rehearse a play about their river’s history and the numerous travellers that tried to control it. Around the play, the young actors reflect on their own identity and the future of the country in the context of the new Chinese canal project.

Sat 14/03 16:30 Ciné Utopia ES OV with FR subt. Avant-première
  • Best Environmental Doc, Close:Up Edinburgh Docufest, 2019 (United Kingdom)
Cast & Credits
Julie Schroell
Frank Pineda
François Martig, Capucine Courau, Michel Schillings
Pascal Karier, Aaron Ahrends (Say Yes Dog)
Calach Films
Loufok Productions
Calach Films

Julie Schroell is a filmmaker and audiovisual artist living in Berlin. Born in Luxembourg, she holds a double master’s degree in Contemporary History, as well as Film Studies and Screenwriting from the Université Libre de Bruxelles. She started her career by directing a series of commissioned films, such as The Farmer’s Blues (2011), a documentary in which she set out to portray the remaining farmers of her home country, selected at numerous festivals around the world. She has since directed and produced several documentaries for major broadcasters, including RTL Luxembourg, France Télévisions, RTBF and Al Jazeera. River Tales (2019) is her first independent feature-length documentary.

  • 2019 – Cuentos del Río (documentaire / documentary / Dokumentarfilm)
  • 2016 – Génération Quoi ? Europe (documentaire / documentary / Dokumentarfilm)
  • 2016 – Parcours du cœur battant (court-métrage documentaire / documentary short / Dokumentarkurzfilm)
  • 2015 – routwäissgro: Këmer dech em däin Dreck (1 épisode de la série documentaire / 1 episode of the documentary TV series / 1 Folge der Dokumentarfernsehserie)
  • 2015 – Mister Rocket (And His Magnetic Friends) (court-métrage / short / Kurzfilm)
  • 2011 – De Bauereblues (documentaire / documentary / Dokumentarfilm)