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- About the festival
Vanesa Abajo Pérez was born in Spain, but grew up in The Netherlands. In between these two countries she always searched for her identity. She graduated in Film Studies at the Complutense University in Madrid and obtained a Master of Arts degree through the European MEDIA programme. She specialised in the use of film narratives for digital media storytelling and after graduating she first worked as a digital advertising creative, contributing to many awarded campaigns by festivals such as Spin Awards, Golden Drum, Webby, ADCN, Cristal Advertising Awards, New York Festival, Cresta, etc.
In the meantime, she also wrote, directed and produced several short fiction films, also screened and awarded internationally. In 2015 there was an important switch in her career. When a dear family member became terminally ill, she directed and filmed her first short documentary film LA CASA DE PIEDRA, in which she portrayed her aunt through the space this woman once inhabited. From that moment onwards, Vanesa put her full effort on artistic documentaries. She expanded the project about her aunt and developed the crossover installation I AM NOT MY BODY, a merge between documentary film and literature, in which she researches the stylistic and narrative possibilities within the context of an approaching death.
LIFE IS DREAM is her first feature length documentary, in which she once again takes on the camera work to tell an extremely personal story. In this surreal film, Vanesa focuses on the immigration history of her parents, who fled the poverty of the Franco regime and ended up in the Netherlands in search of prosperity. In the film, Vanesa observes the experience of her parents as well as her own, shaping the overall story as a platonic dream.