Hot Docs 2017 Profile: Lucija Stojevic

La Chana is ultimately a film that celebrates a woman’s strength to confront and rise above tragedy in her life.”

Lisa Gallagher
May 2, 2017 · 7 min read
“La Chana”

In the world of flamenco dancing, La Chana (the stage name of the self-taught Gypsy dancer Antonia Santiago Amador) is Queen. She reigned supreme throughout the ‘60s and ‘70s, but suddenly disappeared from the spotlight at the height of her career. This film follows La Chana as she prepares for one last performance after 23 years away from the stage and reflects on her life, her career, what is, and what could have been.

La Chana is a film about about many things: dreams and passions, aging and loss, acceptance and re-invention, love and abuse… and so much more. Director Lucija Stojevic accents La Chana’s story with archival footage and weaves everything together into a completely engrossing, beautifully heartwarming, and an all-around wonderful character piece on a fascinating woman.

Director of “La Chana” — Lucija Stojevic

La Chana had its World Premiere at International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) in 2016 and was the winner of the IDFA Audience Award. It has previously screened at Flamenco Biennale, DocPoint Helsinki and DocPoint Tallinn, International Film Festival Assen, Thessaloniki Documentary Festival, Tempo Documentary Festival, Vera Film Festival, Vilnius Iff Kino Pavasaris, Eurodok, and Le Voci dell’Inchiesta (where it also won the Audience Award!).

You can see the Canadian Premiere of La Chana at this year’s Hot Docs International Film Festival, screening at 9:15pm on May 1st, 11:00am on May 3rd, and 9:30pm on May 4th. GET YOUR TICKETS HERE.

TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF AND HOW YOU GOT INVOLVED WITH FILMMAKING.

Undecided whether I want to continue in architecture or film, for a while I concentrated on doing media for architects (which was actually not very exciting) and then started focusing more on what actually really interested me — finding a way to tell human stories that I felt needed to be heard. I initially worked in short format and did over 30 short docs for publications such as The Guardian, Global Post, and The New York Times while also working for other production companies. But I wanted to sink my teeth into a bigger, deeper protect. And then La Chana came along.

TELL US A BIT ABOUT LA CHANA. WHERE DID THE IDEA COME FROM?

DID YOU HAVE A PERSONAL CONNECTION WITH LA CHANA PRIOR TO THE START OF THIS PROJECT, OR DID YOU SEEK HER OUT WITH THE IDEA OF THIS FILM IN MIND?

WHY DO YOU THINK THE STORY OF LA CHANA IS SO SOCIALLY RELEVANT TO AUDIENCES TODAY?

IN YOUR DIRECTOR’S NOTE, YOU STATE THAT YOU BELIEVE “IT’S VERY IMPORTANT TO TELL STORIES OF WOMEN’S LIVES FROM ALL WALKS OF LIFE”. WHO ARE SOME OF THE WOMEN YOU WOULD LOVE TO MAKE DOCUMENTARIES ABOUT?

I would love to make documentaries about any women that can shed light on some aspect of our humaneness. And it’s not so much for me about the who, but the what. I think that the important thing is to bring to the surface stories and themes of real women and that we need to get away from the stereotypical way that women are too often portrayed in film.

“La Chana”

CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT SOME/ALL OF THE OTHER AMAZING WOMEN WHO WORKED ON THIS FILM?

WHO ARE YOUR FAVOURITE WOMEN WORKING IN THE FILM INDUSTRY?

WHAT’S THE BEST ADVICE ABOUT FILMMAKING YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED?

“La Chana”

WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON NEXT?

RECOMMEND ONE #MUFFAPPROVED FILM FOR OUR BLOG READERS:

“La Chana” Poster

Check out Lucija’s production company, Noon Films, and follow her on Twitter.

You can also follow La Chana’s official website, Facebook and Twitter for up-to-date info on the film.


Lisa Gallagher is the Producer of The MUFF Society in Toronto and a member of the venue staff for the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema during the Hot Docs International Film Festival. She is a lover of cats, carbs, and laying down.

Follow her on Instagram and Letterboxd.

MUFF Blog

We are a community that celebrates women in film and TV. High five!

Lisa Gallagher

Written by

Festival Director of Toronto True Crime Film Festival. Former producer of The MUFF Society in Toronto. Lover of cats, carbs, and Keanu Reeves.

MUFF Blog

MUFF Blog

We are a community that celebrates women in film and TV. High five!

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