About Power Alley

by Ava Cahen

Interview with Lillah Halla

“Having come from a theater background and the EICTV Film School in Cuba, I value human collaboration as the strongest tool in the cinema I make. I deeply believe we all get further as a team.

Sofia´s team is her safe space. In the film, they build a safety net to support her journey, affording Sofia the chance to take vital, yet risky steps toward her own path. This group sticks together, dream together, and dare to challenge the present to build another future. A future in which they are free. 

It took me so long to make this film (7 years), all the while the world and I were constantly changing, that it became a real challenge to keep the story and my telling of it fresh. In this sense, I, like Sofia, also became stronger when people I trusted joined the cause. 

The people brought onto this film all have a HUGE voice. This was the family I chose. I wanted the work to have their ‘shine’ – both from the cast and from the artists in the crew. My role was to choreograph all of this: I would look around the set and it was like a jam session was going on –everyone playing their ‘instruments’ – this is the power of the collective, and for me, it’s nourishing.  

So much is centered on the director in our industry. While it’s true I worked my ass off, it was never by myself.  This orchestration, for so many people to have agency, autonomy and voice, had to have an extensive process in place for me to find the right team, and fine tune our communication, so that the magic could happen. It is an extensive construction built from the very beginning: it doesn’t happen out of sheer luck. 

Laying this groundwork first is how you build trust. And once trust is in place, it grows a film in ways one cannot imagine. 

One of the things I learned is that it isn’t about romanticizing difficulties, but rather having an open heart for dealing with them – that, plus my own obstinateness, made our film stronger in the process. 

It’s a dance between control and losing control. A dance with the unknown.”

At La Semaine de La Critique