Named like a Flower
"She was a chef, an embroiderer and a costumer for revues. She worked for Paco Jamandreu, Pedro Gandini and others. She also wrote "My memories", published by Centro Cultural Rojas, and articles for El Teje magazine and SOY supplement of Página 12 newspaper. She would have liked to study Philosophy and Literature, but she lived in a time when being gay was banned, and any public display of homosexual behavior led to 30 days in Devoto prison. That is why she could not study or work as an employee. She was sent to prison many times just for being who she was. However, she made a great effort, and she managed to graduate as a dressmaking teacher. Her skinny legs ached, and the walking cane just added elegance to her style. She lived in a nursing home in Bella Vista, where, in spite of the fact that her ID said her name was Octavio, her room was in the women's area, she was treated with love and respect, and everyone called her by her real name, Malva.
Malva died one week before we started shooting our film. But she let us follow her with a camera for a year and a half, while she was telling us everything about her life. Admitting the society condemned a diverse group to invisibility is a way of fixing something that, should it be accepted from the beginning, it would have made us better people. Malva was 95 years old. She was a transvestite who outlived the average life expectancy of 35 years. Photos, stories, and memories of almost a century in the life of someone different in a time when differences were an abyss of social exclusion. Perhaps a Minotaur with its Pandora's box."
Title: Named like a Flower
Length: 1h 3 min
Country of Origin: Argentina
Completion Date: 2019
Director. Carina Sama
About the director,, Carina Sama
She studied Industrial Design at UNCuyo (National University of Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina) and Film Studies at Cuyo Regional College of Film and Video Studies, where she has also taught Film-making for five years. During the 90's she was part of the visual arts group "Minas de Arte", which staged various exhibitions in Mendoza and Buenos Aires.
She started working in the film industry as a director assistant to many well-known directors, such as Eduardo Mignona, Jaime Chávarri, Eliseo Subiela, Adolfo Aristarain, Marco Rissi, Marc Evans, and Juan Stagnaro. She has worked in over 40 feature films, national and foreign television series, and TV commercials. She has taught various Film-making courses in Tucumán, Buenos Aires, and Entre Ríos, as well as in Alicante (Spain), Asunción (Paraguay), and Panama. She was a member of the jury of the National Institute of Cinema and Audiovisual Arts (INCAA) Screenplay Committee and of various national film festivals, and a moderator in conferences on gender issues and film-making.
She is a prolific director of short films, among them, "Redes Sociales", which was part of the Selection on Violence Against Women, edited globally by OMIN and AVON for their 2012 campaign. Her first documentary feature film "Madam Baterflai" (digital documentary funded by INCAA, Mendoza's Provincial Culture Fund, and the City of Buenos Aires' Cultural Sponsorship Program in 2013) was screened in national and international film festivals, and has been granted many awards (for screenplay, director and picture) as well as some special mentions. It has been recognized as a Film of Cultural Interest by the Argentina and Mendoza Chambers of Deputies.
She is currently attending the last year of the Master's Degree in Documentary Journalism at UnTref (University of Tres de Febrero in Buenos Aires), and the postgraduate course "Diverse Universe. Body, Gender, Sexuality and Society from an Inclusive and Community Perspective," given by the Program Area Department of Ramos Mejía Hospital, City of Buenos Aires.
Nowadays, she is working on two new documentaries: "Con nombre de flor" (pre-production) and "La Paloma" (in development) which, together with "Madam Baterflai" constitute a triptych on the trans subject.