Writer Juan Tomás Ávila Laurel had to flee Equatorial Guinea in 2011, after going on a hunger strike against Teodoro Obiang’s dictatorship, the longest lasting in the world. Now he resides as a refugee in Spain, the former colonial power, but longs the country where he lived for 40 years. Until he decides to take a step forward.

Feature documentary. 82 minutes. Spanish/Annobonese Creole. 2019.

Juan Tomás Ávila Laurel

Juan Tomás Ávila Laurel (1966) is Equatorial Guinea’s most translated writer. He is from Annobón, a tiny island in the Atlantic Ocean, although he has been living most of his life in the capital, Malabo. He writes in Spanish and has published a dozen titles in different genres.

He is mostly known for his novel By Night the Mountain Burns, shortlisted at the UK 2015 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. He has also written The load (1999), Airplane of the Rich, Thief of Pigs (2008) and Panga Rilene (2016). His latest novel published is English is The Gurugu Pledge (2017).

He was worked as a nurse, editor and candy street vendor. He actually lives in exile in Spain, after a hunger strike against the regime of Teodoro Obiang. His work is studied by scholars around the world.

The team

Marc Serena (1983) codirected the award-winning documentary Tchindas (2015), broadcasted at PBS (US) and nominated at the AMAA Awards, the African Oscars. He has written three books and has been translated into Chinese and Korean.

With music from: Concha Buika, Pau de Nut,
Negro BeyJamin and Charli Weezy

Emanuele Tiziani

Josep Gutiérrez

Animation and graphic identity:
Taller Estampa

Verònica Font

Colour postproduction:

Executive production:
Marc Serena and Toni Espinosa


“The first film willing to explain Obiang’s regime”
El Antepenúltimo Mohicano

“One of the most brilliant Equatoguinean writers”
Alfonso Armada, ABC

“Combining ethics, tragedy and honesty”
José Manuel Pedrosa, Alcalá de Henares University

“A surprising author”
Angel Gurria-Quintana, Financial Times

“His work will echo in its readers”
Kapka Kassabova, The Guardian

“As Frantz Fanon, traces back the rivers of our memory”
Elisa Rizo, University of Iowa


Looking for an international premiere!

Produced by Fora de Quadre and Toned Media
International sales: The Open Reel