First silence  (EL Primer Silencio, 2006)

Filmed using a 76-minute sequence shot.

Mauro lives with his girlfriend a comfortable life. The problem for him comes when one morning she decides to leave home and leave him alone. She complains his passivity, his indolent life and especially the lack of love between them. Mauro can not understand why she wants to disappear because she has been everything for him, someone to love, someone who financially sUpports him while he tries to break into the world of graphic design. However, he is aware that from that time many of the things that happen in his life will change.

Shot in real scenarios and in real time, the camera follows for an hour and a quarter to three characters in an important moment of their lives in which they know their views about the world will change but they do not know which way to take or what it's their final destination

Original Spanish Title:  El primer silencio
Catalan Title:  The first silence
International English Title:  First Silence
French Title:  Le premier silence
Director:  Samuel Sebastian
Production:  sinCasa
Producer:  Samuel Sebastian
Story:  Samuel Sebastian
Art direction:  Luis Linares
Paintings:  Ester Rodríguez – Ro: M, Valentina, The first silent
Photos:  Samuel Sebastian
Music:  Claude Debussy, Erik Satie
Camera:  Samuel Sebastian
Coordination:  Lucía Alcantud, Sandra Alcantud, Marta Pérez Soria
Post-Producer:  Violeta Martín Núñez
Duration:  76 min

Mauro  Javi Velasco
Inés  Paula Bares
Clara  Estela Muñoz
Juanan  Juanan Lucena
Anna  Anna Mª Martínez

Just like the color fields of American abstract painting seem to flow and escape beyond the boundaries of the canvas, I wanted life to flow on my first feature film, a film that begins just before the magic word Action and ends after the shot.

The idea of bringing together real life and film life in the same way was the most intense experience for me since I conceived the film. I wanted the actors to be integrated perfectly into their roles, and at the same time we left a good portion of random events, that's why the characters walk in the streets, or the inclusion of a pet or the continuous Up and down of stairs, which brings some tension to the them.

At first, the actors felt a little helpless, with no script, no planning of the film (they do not know that I was going to shoot the film in just one shot) and with only a rudimentary notes about their characters. But after some rehearsals they gave to the characters some life and verisimilitude, and finally made a very good recreations and enjoyed playing them.

We started to shoot only with an HDV camera and a microphone and I think that reality does not take much more to be captured. The intensity of the story and how the characters play a crucial time in their lives, fits with the intensity I have lived similar episodes narrated in the film. In particular, the sequence of Ines had happened to me a coUple of years before and everything that happened I wrote in a page like a diary and sent it to a friend. She said I could write a story with that, but I didn't found convenient to show the sad decline of a former classmate. Today, however, I see it differently, and so thought the actress who plays her (Paula Bares): This film tells the story of someone who is at the bottom of a well and she knows that many hands that help, it will not ever leave him.

After this movie I understood more than ever that the film can capture reality as it is, plainly, without mincing words, recurrent topics or preset codes, without pretentious dialogues or improbable situations, a fragment of life as a whole film. Dig a little deeper into the film proposals that have addressed this issue as the cinéma vérité or Dogma and go a little further: there is still a wide and rich field to be discovered.

So, after this, I can only say: Let the life flows.


The division between indoors and outdoors of the classic movies, completely disappears here: the characters move inside and outside of the house, strolling around the neighborhood, they sit, they enter into a cafe and the stage of the film is the same neighborhood in which they spend their lives.

The protagonist's house was my house and we modify it with the artistic director (Luis Linares) and I to suit the home for a couple with completely opposite points of view about life: the part of Mauro is chaotic and disorganized, instead of Clara's that is tidy and clean. Even their names have opposite meanings.

Outside the house is an unpredictable space, full of noise, people, music, life in the final.

I found attractive the idea of shot a café from the street, as if we were looking at a painting. However, this distance is broken when the characters leave the café and seems to jump out of the canvas to fill the space previously occupied by the camera - viewer.

Anonymous musicians in the street contributed the idea of seeking spontaneity and even the songs they play have expressive implications for the film. At first, I was upset they stood there, basically I wanted quiet streets but then I must say I liked their appearance, that piece of life was like this and can not be changed.


The three players had the merit to work selflessly for a work whose methodology and completely unknown author. Or maybe it was this strange proposal that motivated them to participate.

MAURO, Javi Velasco
The many nuances of the character make the tender Mauro pass to the ridiculous in just seconds. And it is this contradiction that underlies throughout the film. For Mauro, his comfortable and safe life fades away in a blink of an eye and from the moment he wakes up until he goes back to bed at the end, a lot things have changed for him ... almost all.

Javier Velasco could understand from the beginning the complexity of chis haracter and we chose to portray him as someone passive, ridiculous for being drawn by the circumstances. With his unique sense of humor, the character is rich in details between the smile and the pain, but mostlyhe has been able to play the deep feeling of loneliness that pervades those who fail to be loved.

INES, Paula Bares
Ines is the most strong and at the same time the most depressed character. Paula and I did not want a pathetic character, and sunk as the characters usually appear on your condition, to the contrary, we provide her a past and a cultural background. On the one hand, the precarious conditions of her childhood lead her away from the society, on the other hand she slipped and since then she could not get up. Yet another complex and contradictory character, as we are almost all.

Paula made an excellent performance and slogged it away. Like the protagonist, she ended broken and exhausted, I guess she must have felt that strange fascination that cause the characters who are in a extreme situation: a priori attractive but very difficult to carry out credibly.

CLARA, Estela Muñoz
The coolest character is not really the most self assured of the plot, on the contrary, when Clara takes the final decision to leave Mauro without having said anything, she has built in his mind all the events that will occur but she did not think about the human factor: herself.

Estela and I worked the character into two times: first her security when taking decisions, even coolness. After that, her doubts accepting the consequences of their decision. From there Clara was born and despite her name she's being introduced gradually into dark ways.


Pictures and books are part of the innumerable objects that join us in different times of our lives and give them a special meaning. For example, Clara puts into her case The Tin Drum while Mauro browses Kundera's The Farewell. These literary works doesn't seem to have an owner, they move freely among people. A separate issue happens when that work is unique and irretrievable like a painting: Who can be the owner of a painting that both profess a great affection and they both consider as the rightful owners of it? It is at that moment when triggers the tragedy, as each one wants to appropriate the other's feelings through a work of art that is part of a common past. The picture of the discord remains pervasive throughout the story until the end when Mauro and Clara fights for it and at that is moment when they say the worst things to each other. When we started rehearsing, the painting had no owner, I simply told the actors to improvise and resolve the situation through performances. The solution of the first rehearsal was the one we follow until the end of the shooting.

I picked out Ester Rodríguez-Ro because of the enigmatic use of abstraction and typography in her work. She had previously done a portrait of a great sadness, Valentina, that reminded me very much Estela Muñoz's face, which gave a very emotional meaning. She did two paintings for the film: M, the object of discussion between Mauro and Clara and The first silence that is the film's poster.

First silence (Photo 1) First silence (Photo 2) First silence (Photo 3)
© Copyright 2011. Samuel Sebastian
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