Ovejas y  Lobos
[Sheep and Wolves]

Narrative Short

A mother's world shatters after her son vanishes without a trace. Set in the height of the Peruvian armed conflict, "Ovejas y Lobos" [Sheep and Wolves] follows a mother’s suspenseful search through the perilous, vast, and unforgiving landscape that mirrors her seemingly insurmountable mission.

Official Selection at Clermont-Ferrand ISFF 2024
Official Selection at Palm Springs International Short Film Festival 2024
Official Selection at Raindance Film Festival 2024
Official Selection at DokuFest Int’l Documentary & Short Film Festival 2024
Winner of Best Undergraduate Film and Best Director at NYU First Run FF 2024

Directors Statement

My connection with this film has evolved so much since the inception of the first draft five years ago. I used to think that this movie was about exploring my relationship with the Peruvian internal armed conflict, or the heart-wrenching decision to leave one's home. Those themes are still relevant, but as Sheep and Wolves (Ovejas y Lobos) began taking shape in the edit room, something emerged. A relationship between the film and myself that I never noticed but resonates with my very existence.

My childhood was filled with warmth and affection from my mother, with abundant hugs, kisses, and praise. Yet there was an absence of something vital - I never truly felt heard. This notion is mirrored in the film as Rosa wakes Felix's with a loving embrace, yet she dismisses his feelings about leaving without hesitation. 

Shortly after, Felix disappears. And like Felix, I too have felt the pain of not being heard and have physically and metaphorically disappeared. Leaving my country behind and being frightened of letting others hear my voice.

Like in a Greek tragedy, the mother's failure to listen to her son is met with a wrathful and relentless punishment, as she's made to suffer time and time again. As we see her sacrificing her life, and putting everything on the line as she tries with all her might to bring back her son, I realize that I’m making this movie hoping that my mother would realize her mistakes and save me from really becoming invisible.

After finding this new relationship I had with my movie, I recognize that the ending had to change. The original conclusion was harsh, featuring a macabre image of a decapitated sheep's head, signaling her son was forever gone and she’d have to carry that pain for the rest of her existence.

It no longer felt appropriate. Because, me, as Felix and the vengeful god of this tragedy finally saw that Rosa was simply doing the best she could. And as she gives Felix that final hug with the fire blazing behind her in life after death, I’m able to forgive my own mother, because she loved me the best way she could.