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 twenty 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. It was the second Equatorial Guinea book ever translated in English. 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.

This 2021, his novel By Night the Mountain Burns will became a play called “Annobón” to be premiered in Malabo, Bata (Equatorial Guinea) and Grec Festival Barcelona (Spain).

The team

Marc Serena (1983) codirected the award-winning documentary Tchindas (2015), broadcasted at PBS (US) and nominated by the Africa Film Academy at the AMAA Awards (Nigeria). He has written three books and has been translated into Chinese and Korean. Alexandria Mediterranean Film Festival (Egypt) distinguished in 2020 his career with an award.

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 project has been developed at Dox in Vitro (Slovakia), Frontlab (Italy) 2018, Dig Awards (Italy), Fest.pt (Portugal) and Bolivialab (Bolivia) 2019.




24th March. 19.45h Cinemes Girona, Barcelona. (Spain). With Q&A.

9-18th April. Festival Vues d’Afrique (Canada).

13th April. Sala Berlanga. Madrid (Spain).

30th April. Iberodocs (Scotland)

9-20th May. Muica Colombia.

21st May. 20.30h. Cineclub El Casal La Mirada, Mollet del Vallès (Spain).

28th May. 18.30h. Biblioteca Ignasi Iglésias-Can Fabra, Barcelona (Spain). With Q&A.

10th June. 19h. DocuXixón. Gijón (Spain).

16th June. Valladolid (Spain).

28th June. Institut Français Barcelona (Spain). With Negro Bey.

6th July. Cine Zoco Majalahonda Madrid (Spain). With Negro Bey.

13th July. Filmoteca Canaria – Santa Cruz de Tenerife. (Spain).

14th July. Filmoteca Canaria – Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. (Spain).

16th July. Valldoreix (Spain).

28th July. CFCE Cartagenas de Indias. Colombia.

13th August.  Internacional Conference Spanish Proofreaders. Colombia.

9-11th September. Red Acampa. A Coruña (Spain).

28th September. Reus (Spain).

5th October. Afrikaldia. Vitoria-Gasteiz (Spain).

9th October. Afrika FilmFestival Festival (Belgium).

19th October. Sant Vicenç dels Horts (Spain).

21st October. Málaga (Spain).

4th November. Auditori Sant Martí. Barcelona (Spain).

8th November. Afriff Nigeria. African premiere.

10th November. 18.30h. XVII Human Rights Film Festival Zaragoza. Centro Joaquín Roncal. Zaragoza (Spain).

1st December. Autonomous University of Barcelona (Spain).

9th December. Centre Cívic Vil·la Florida. Barcelona (Spain).

14th December. RTP2. Portugal.

16th December. Centre Cívic Trias i Peitx. Barcelona (Spain).


17th February. Centre Cívic La Sagrera. Barcelona (Spain).

25th February. Johns Hopkins University. US.

23rd April. Círcol Catòlic. Badalona (Spain).

25-26 April. Cineclub Alcarreño. Guadalajara (Spain).

27th April. Cameroon International Film Festival. Buea, Cameroon.

10th June. Spanish Night. Ireland.

20th July. La Palmera. FICAC. Tarragona (Spain).

27th September. 19h. Biblioteca Dos Rius. Torelló (Spain).

7th October. 19h. Sala ZALZIE. Casal Societat La Principal. Vilafranca del Penedès (Spain).

10th October. 18h. Biblioteca Mestre Martí. Rubí (Spain).

22st October. 19h. Cinema Montgrí. Torroella de Montgrí (Spain).


13th January. 21h. Azuqueca de Henares.

9th February. 17.15h Lit Fest Bergen, Noruega.

22th February. 18h. Biblioteca Vila de Gràcia de Barcelona. And next day, debate with the protagonist.

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