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Lessons for Zafirah
The Colour of Olives

Above: Mexico City, 2009; actors participating
in film screenings and discussions, workshop
rehearsals and exercises.

Below: Two Mexico news stories, clipped by
Carolina in 2009, that inspired us. Stories such as
these, along with personal experiences, helped
shape the film (click to enlarge and read in English).

Below: the tree in Valle de Bravo, and our
representation in the studio, painted by
Francisco Almonasi (click to enlarge).

Below: Carolina Rivas constructing one of the final versions
of the script of 1 for 1 (click to enlarge).


1 for 1
was developed in Mexico by Carolina Rivas and Daoud Sarhandi. The storyline in its original form was written in late-2007. During 2008 we started to develop a conventional film script, which we imagined we would shoot in locations in and around Mexico City. In 2008 we also started casting the film, and many of these original actors remained with the project through to the shooting. During 2008, however, our creative ideas evolved, and so too our methodology.

Through free-to-attend weekly workshops, beginning in early 2009 we started to build a company of actors, which included many people who had never acted before. This company grew to number at its peak more than 80 actors. Carolina devoted weeks, months, and, as it finally turned out, two years to build and nurture this company: training the actors and through their participation refining the structure of the film. During this period we became more interested in creating a representation of Mexico City, rather than a realistic portrait - and so the radical style of the film was born.

For us, however, the film is not "unrealistic"; on the contrary, it employs unconventional filmic and narrative techniques precisely in order to make contact with deeper aspects of spiritual, emotional and social Mexican/universal reality. Furthermore, nearly everything that occurs in the film is inspired by things that actually happened to us or to friends, or events that were reported in the media.

Raising the money in Mexico to shoot such an unusual film was a challenge. In 2011, however, a series of private donations (plus financial help from the Spanish Cultural Centre in Mexico) enabled us to plan a 15-day shoot between August and September. Dialogue was rerecorded in Mexico City in October and during three days in the same month Daoud also shot a few hours of material on the streets of Mexico City. Post production was undertaken and completed in Spain, first in Madrid and then in Barcelona. In Barcelona we were fortunate to make contact with Joan Barranca, who composed the music and mixed the soundtrack - and in the process became one of the film's coproducers.

So, six years after we began, 1 for 1 is ready to screen; it's been quite a journey!

We thank all those people who over the years have supported this film project with so much care, attention, and love; they are too many to mention here individually - but considering that the film couldn't have been made without them, it is as much their film as it is ours.

Daoud and Carolina

Press photo 1
Press photo 2