Roads in February (feature film, narrative)

a film by Katherine Jerkovic
Canada – Uruguay  |  84 min.  |  2018

Produced by Nicolas Comeau (Productions1976) and Micaela Solé (Cordón films)

Synopsis | Driven by childhood memories and the hope of a reencounter, Sarah visits her paternal grandmother in her village in Uruguay. She takes long to understand the prevailing unease… But she is soon faced with the gap between her fantasy regarding the place of origin and that village of old people forgotten by Modernity where the heat is overwhelming and the days seem to last forever. Cultural shock, humour and sadness give shape to this bitter-sweet film.

Director’s Notes | I first trained in drawing and it was my main form of expression for many years. Then, studying at Concordia University, I discovered experimental cinema and video art; I was enamoured. I devoted myself to forge a language of sounds and images before daring to adventure with words – perhaps because I’ve navigated between two languages since childhood, words were for me evasive and ambiguous. I explored the image’s negative space, commonly called offscreen, in order to reveal what seemed absent or incomplete. When I gradually and timidly approached narrative cinema, that negative space of the image became a negative space of drama. That is to say, the real drama is what we don’t see, what is sensed, suggested, emerging through the surface of faces and bodies. I’ve always tried to capture the subtle changes which speak of more profound ripples, the ephemeral trace of a movement of the soul. In this period of great human tragedies, often depicted as great melodramas, we should not forget that truth is sometimes whispered, like in a half-sleep…
The Roads in February were long and winding: five years of writing (I became a scriptwriter), a child (I became a mother), securing funding, the many trips back and forth… It is often said that first features are autobiographical. The Roads is no exception, but it’s also, mostly, the testimony of many apprenticeships.

Crew | Written and directed by Katherine Jerkovic Cinematography Nicolas Canniccioni
Art Directors Olivier Laberge and Mariana Pereira Picture editor Sophie Farkas Bolla
Sound Pablo Villegas Sound designer Bruno Pucella Music Inés Cánepa and David Drury Costumes Vika Esquivel Hair + Make-up Virginia Silva Production manager Patricia Olveira First assistant director + Uruguayan casting Diego Ferrando  Canadian casting Balustrade.

Director’s Bio-filmography | Born in Canada to a Uruguayan mother and a Croatian-Argentinian father, Katherine Jerkovic grew up in Belgium and Uruguay. At 18 years-old, she settled in Montréal and pursued film studies at Concordia University. She has since directed many short fiction and experimental films and one video installation. Her work has been presented in many venues and festivals, including Toronto Images Festival, Anthology Film Archives (NYC), Instants vidéo de Marseille, Festival international du film sur l’art de Montréal, Cinéma du Québec à Paris, Centro cultural del M.E.C. (Montevideo), Rendez-vous du cinema québécois. VTape distributes her experimental videos while F3M and Travelling distribute her narrative shorts. She also worked as producer and production manager on her colleagues’ films. Las Rutas en febrero is her first feature-length fiction.

Cast | Sara: Arlen Aguayo Stewart Magda: Gloria Demassi Tincho: Mathías Perdigón
Olga: Cecila Baranda, Carlitos: Rafael Soliwoda.

Arlen Aguayo Stewart is a Montreal-born, Toronto-based actor and creator with an eclectic background in film, theatre, circus, dance, and music. Fluent in five languages, Arlen is delighted to perform in one of her mother tongues in Las Rutas en Febrero. As a child actor, Arlen starred in Dead Silent opposite Rob Loweand the acclaimed short Soother, winner at Uppsala’s International Film FestivalArlen continued her career in theatre and is known for roles in UnseamlyDARK LOVE, featured in Rhubarb and SpringWorks, and the one-woman show, Half Girl/Half Face, performed at Unofest, rEvolver, and SummerWorks. Recent works include series such as The Bold Type (Freeform), TAKEN (NBC), In Contempt (BET), the web series Strictly for the Birds coming out this fall, and On The Basis of Sex directed by Mimi Leder. Upcoming, Arlen will be sharing the stage with Tantoo Cardinal and Gary Farmer in Drew Hayden Taylor’s Crees in the Caribbean at Theatre Aquarius in their 2019 season.

Gloria Demassi is a renowned Uruguayan actress with more than forty years of experience in theatre. Trained at the independent theatre El Circular during the dictatorship, she was later hired by the Comedia nacional, Uruguay’s national troupe, where she played numerous classic and contemporary roles – in Chekov, Brecht, Tennessee Williams, Garcia Lorca, R.W. Fassbinder, Benedetti… – for two and a half decades. She also had supporting roles in film and television. Although officially retired, she’s been involved in several plays by young directors in Uruguay and Buenos Aires. At 75 years-old, Roads in February was her first main role in a movie. 

Productions 1976 is a Montreal-based production company run by producer Nicolas Comeau. The company is involved in auteur driven films budgeted at 2 million euros or less, with strong voices and international appeal. We’ve coproduced with France, Chile, and Canada. Our films have been selected in San Sebastian, Venice, Locarno and TIFF among other. Recent productions include Bruce LaBruce’s Gerontophilia (2013), World premiere in Venice and North American premiere at TIFF, winner of Best Canadian feature at Montreal’s Festival du nouveau cinéma. In 2014, the Chile/France/Canada coproduction La Voz en Off by Cristian Jimemez, had its World premiere at TIFF and its European premiere in competition at San Sebastian. Philippe Grandrieux’s Malgré la nuit,
a 2015 coproduction with France, premiered in Rotterdam and was selected at the Berlin critic’s week, BAFICI, Film Comment Selects, and Sao Paolo.

Cordón films is a Uruguayan production company created in 2007 by Micaela Solé and Daniel Hendler in order to produce feature and documentary films, usually in coproduction. The films they produced have been premiered in festivals such as Berlin, Toronto, Locarno, San Sebastian and many others. The Teddy Award in Berlin for Aldo Garay’s The New Man and the Best Director Award in Miami for Daniel Hendler’s The Candidate can be highlighted among the prizes received.

Produced with the financial participation of SODEC – Société de développement des entreprises culturelles du Québec, CALQ – Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, Québec Tax Credit for cinema and television, Canada Tax Credit for cinema and television. Developed with the participation of CALQ – Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, Canada Council for the Arts, Atelier Grand Nord Script Lab. Distribution in Canada : Axia Films.

Original Spanish version with English or French subtitles, colour, 1:85 ratio, 84 minutes, 2018