Puerto Rico – Colombia | dramedy LGBTQIA | color | 97 min | 2021

Film info

  • LOGLINE

    A dramatic dark comedy smeared with Caribbean grease
     

    SYNOPSIS

    After an elderly Puerto Rican widow crafts a beautiful custom-made funeral for her husband, she gets enlisted to put her unusual talents to design customized, idiosyncratic funerals for her ailing neighbors.
     

    PLOT KEYWORDS

    LGBTQIA | films directed by women | ageing | death | funeral traditions | class & identity | gender roles | women stories | sorority | euthanasia

    • ABOUT THIS FILM

      Perfume de Gardenias, is the debut film from the renowned Queer Afro-Puerto Rican singer, multi-disciplinary artist, and filmmaker Macha Colón.

      The dark comedy that captures the idiosyncrasies and spirit of a nation adept at creating novel strategies for laughter in the face of adversity, tells the story of Isabel — played by veteran theater and television actress Luz María Rondón in her first movie-starring role — an elderly woman living in a middle-class neighborhood in Puerto Rico, who has just become a widow after having cared for her husband until his last breaths. However, her recent loss becomes a blessing when she crafts a beautiful custom-made funeral for him that catches the attention of Toña (Sharon Riley), a pious but domineering woman who involves herself in local funerals.

      Toña is the self-appointed leader of a coterie of church ladies elderly, and she enlists Isabel to put her unusual talents to good use and design custom, idiosyncratic funerals for her ailing neighbors. As Isabel agrees to perform this peculiar line of work — offering seniors a chance to dictate how their lives should be honored, before they die — she also finds renewed purpose in her own life. Along the way, however, Isabel is forced to question her own beliefs, as well as her relationship with both life and death.
       
      In line with Colón’s collaborative artistic spirit, Perfume de Gardenias is likewise a work that brings together her creative community with many cross-generational figures from Puerto Rico’s local arts and cultural circles featuring in the film. Part of a broader body of work that includes productions across the disciplines of music, performance art, and political activism, Perfume de Gardenias brings the daring, cheerful, and radically “cuir” style that characterizes Macha Colón’s artistic output to the silver screen.

        
      A Puerto Rican film at its core, made in co-production with Colombia’s 2.35 Digital and Romeo, Perfume de Gardenias manages to capture the vivid colors of the Caribbean island by offering a nuanced portrait of the customs, characters, and idiosyncrasies of its battered middle class. Colón’s gaze is as authentic as it is original as she dares to poke fun at the sacred and profound in a deeply Catholic culture; humor that, in the end, helps to broaden our understanding of death, mourning, and the meaning of life itself.  (source: Press release by Cinema Tropical)
      .

    CREW & CAST

    Original title: Perfume de Gardenias
    International title: Perfume de Gardenias
    Original language: Spanish
    Written & directed by: Macha Colón (Gisela Rosario Ramos)
    Producers: Arleen Cruz-Alicea, Gisela Rosario Ramos
    Co-producers: Consuelo Castillo, Adriana Ángel
    Production Manager: Arleen Cruz-Alicea
    DOP: Pedro Juan López
    Editing: Juan Soto Taborda
    First Assistant director: Joacenith Vargas
    Script: Emelyn Vargas
    Sound: Isabel Torres
    Composer: Guarionex Morales
    Sound Design: Amed Irizarry
    Production Design: Josie Minguela, Juan Fernando Morales, Alejandro Cirilo
    Costume design: Suzanne Krim
    Makeup & hair: Ybeka Hurtado
    Production Companies: 3 Gardenias (Puerto Rico), co-produced by 2.35 Digital (Colombia) & Romeo (Colombia)
    Cast:
    Luz María Rondón (Isabel)
    Sharon Riley (Toña)
    Katira María (Melanie)
    Carmen Nydia Velázquez (Juana)
    Flor Joglar de Gracia (Claudia)
    Milagros Ortíz (Blanca)
    Abner Rivera (Javier)

    FESTIVALS & AWARDS
    • World Premiere: Tribeca FF 2021
    • AFI Latin American FF 2021
    • Boston Latino FF 2021
    • Winner. Best Narrative Feature. Trinidad & Tobago FF 2021
  • LOGLINE

    Una comedia dramática de humor oscuro con grasa tropical.
     

    SINOPSIS

    Después de enviudar y organizar un memorable funeral personalizado para su esposo, una anciana de un barrio de clase media en Puerto Rico descubrirá un nuevo y renovado sentido para su propia vida como decoradora de funerales peculiares.

    • SOBRE LA PELÍCULA

      Una reflexión provocativa sobre la muerte y el duelo.

      Perfume de Gardenias es la película debut de la reconocida cantante, artista multidisciplinaria y cineasta queer-afro-puertorriqueña Macha Colón. Con la veterana actriz Luz María Rondón en su primer papel en el cine como protagonista , el film ofrece una perspectiva lúdica y oscuramente cómica sobre Puerto Rico.

      Esta comedia negra que captura la idiosincrasia y el espíritu de una nación que aprendió a enfrentar con humor la adversidad, cuenta la historia de Isabel, interpretada por la veterana actriz de teatro y televisión Luz María Rondón en su primer papel protagónico.

      En línea con el espíritu artístico colaborativo de Colón, Perfume de Gardenias es también una obra que une a su comunidad creativa con diversas figuras relevantes de la cultura y las artes locales, desde una perspectiva inter-generacional. Como parte de un cuerpo de trabajo más amplio que incluye producciones en disciplinas diferentes como la música, el arte escénico y el activismo político, Perfume de Gardenias lleva el estilo atrevido, alegre y radicalmente “cuir” que caracteriza la producción artística de Macha Colón a la pantalla grande.

      Una película esencialmente puertorriqueña, realizada en coproducción con 2.35 Digital y Romeo de Colombia, Perfume de Gardenias logra capturar los colores vivos de la isla caribeña al ofrecer un retrato matizado de las costumbres, los personajes y las idiosincrasias de su maltrecha clase media. La mirada de Colón es tan auténtica como original, ya que se atreve a burlarse de lo sagrado y profundo en una cultura profundamente católica; humor que, al final, ayuda a ampliar nuestra comprensión de la muerte, el duelo y el sentido de la vida misma.
      (fuente: traducción nota de prensa de Cinema Tropical)

    FICHA TÉCNICA

    Título original: Perfume de Gardenias
    Título internacional: Perfume de Gardenias
    Idioma original: Español
    Escrita y dirigida por: Macha Colón (Gisela Rosario Ramos)
    Productoras: Arleen Cruz-Alicea, Gisela Rosario Ramos
    Co-productoras: Consuelo Castillo, Adriana Ángel
    Coordinadora de producción: Arleen Cruz-Alicea
    Dirección de fotografía: Pedro Juan López
    Edición: Juan Soto Taborda
    Primer asistente de dirección: Joacenith Vargas
    Continuista: Emelyn Vargas
    Sonido: Isabel Torres
    Compositor: Guarionex Morales
    Diseño de sonido: Amed Irizarry
    Dirección de arte: Josie Minguela, Juan Fernando Morales, Alejandro Cirilo
    Diseñadora de vestuario: Suzanne Krim
    Maquillaje y peluquería: Ybeka Hurtado
    Empresas productoras: 3 Gardenias (Puerto Rico), co-producida por 2.35 Digital (Colombia) y Romeo (Colombia)
    Elenco:
    Luz María Rondón (Isabel)
    Sharon Riley (Toña)
    Katira María (Melanie)
    Carmen Nydia Velázquez (Juana)
    Flor Joglar de Gracia (Claudia)
    Milagros Ortíz (Blanca)
    Abner Rivera (Javier)

    FESTIVALES Y PREMIOS
    • Premiere mundial: Tribeca FF 2021
    • AFI Latin American FF 2021
    • Boston Latino FF 2021
    • Mejor Largometraje de Ficción.Trinidad & Tobago FF 2021
  • LOGLINE

    Uma comédia dramática de humor negro com gordura tropical.
     

    SINOPSE

    Depois de ficar viúva e organizar um funeral personalizado memorável para seu marido, uma senhora idosa de um bairro de classe média em Porto Rico descobrirá um significado novo e renovado para sua própria vida como uma organizadora de funerais peculiares.

    FICHA TÉCNICA

    Título original: Perfume de Gardenias
    Título internacional: Perfume de Gardenias
    Idioma original: Español
    Escrita e dirigida por: Macha Colón (Gisela Rosario Ramos)
    Produtoras: Arleen Cruz-Alicea, Gisela Rosario Ramos
    Co-produtoras: Consuelo Castillo, Adriana Ángel
    Coordenadora de producción: Arleen Cruz-Alicea
    Direção de fotografia: Pedro Juan López
    Edição: Juan Soto Taborda
    Assistente de direçãocción: Joacenith Vargas
    Script: Emelyn Vargas
    Captação de som: Isabel Torres
    Compositor: Guarionex Morales
    Design de som: Amed Irizarry
    Direção de arte: Josie Minguela, Juan Fernando Morales, Alejandro Cirilo
    Design de figurino: Suzanne Krim
    Maquiagem e cabeleleira: Ybeka Hurtado
    Empresas produtoras: 3 Gardenias (Porto Rico), co-producida por 2.35 Digital (Colômbia) e Romeo (Colômbia)
    Elenco:
    Luz María Rondón (Isabel)
    Sharon Riley (Toña)
    Katira María (Melanie)
    Carmen Nydia Velázquez (Juana)
    Flor Joglar de Gracia (Claudia)
    Milagros Ortíz (Blanca)
    Abner Rivera (Javier)

    FESTIVAIS E PRÊMIOS
    • Premiere mundial: Tribeca FF 2021
    • AFI Latin American FF 2021
    • Boston Latino FF 2021
    • Melhor Longa-metragem de Ficção. Trinidad & Tobago FF 2021

Screening

  • TRAILER

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Press

  • PERFUME DE GARDENIAS at the Tribeca Film Festival 2021. José Rodríguez for CINEMA TORPICAL.

    “Macha Colón’s Perfume de Gardenias endearingly foregrounds nuanced older characters—that we typically don’t see as protagonists—within a colorful and dynamic narrative, bolstered by darkly comedic humor and an authentic depiction of Puerto Rican culture and generational differences. With infectious energy, Colon’s feature directorial debut explores grief and death in a refreshingly candid manner, and delivers whimsical storytelling that is both lively and poignant.” [Full Review]
     
  • TRIBECA 2021: ‘Perfume de Gardenias’ Is a Witty Dark Comedy About Death. Ricardo Gallegos for BUT WHY THO?

    “The film is lighthearted and witty. Colón offers a bittersweet vision of death with the help of a charming protagonist and a black sense of humor.” [Full Review]  
  • Tribeca 2021 Women Directors: Meet Macha Colón – “Perfume de Gardenias”. Gary Miller for INSIDER VOICE

Press coverage

Links


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