Once Upon a Place


Documentary. Once Upon a Place is the story of "La Nacional", a nondescript New York City building that welcomed thousands of immigrants to the United States throughout its 150-year history. The building itself tells its surprising history, still unknown but of great relevance today, a story which still remains a mystery to most New Yorkers and Americans. Founded in 1868, "La Nacional" still stands in 2021 and is the last survivor of the disappeared New York neighborhood known in its day as Little Spain, which had been the largest enclave of Spanish immigrants in the United States. "La Nacional" witnessed the rise and fall of New York City as the home of the American Dream, living both the golden age of Little Spain and the tumultuous times that ultimately ended with the disappearance of the entire community.

Cèlia Novis

Cèlia Novis is a scriptwriter, filmmaker and journalist. From 2013 to 2018, Novis was based in New York City where she worked as a freelance video journalist for Univision TV, as content developer, and also as the producer in the USA for Spanish production companies like Globomedia, TVE, Mediaset-Tele5, La Sexta. Co-writer of the Emmy-Nominated TV Documentary Mr. Trump, Pardon the interruption, 2019. (Telemundo, USA & Producciones del Barrio, Spain; hosted by Jordi Évole).  In the last few years, she has written, produced and directed three feature documentary films: On Vampyres and other Symptoms (2007-2011, Spain) which competed and participated in several international film festivals (Sitges IFF, Documenta Madrid, BAFICI Argentina, FIFA Montreal, MARFICI, Off Screen Belgium, etc); The Minorcans: 250 years of survival (2016-2018, USA & Spain) a documentary for television; and, finally, Once Upon a Place (2013-2021, USA)

Presentation with the film's director, Cèlia Novis, and the General Secretary of the Spain-USA Council Foundation, Manuel Mª Lejarreta, and the festival's codirector.

Friday, October 29th, 2021. 9 pm
Sala Berlanga de la fundación SGAE

Spanish Female Authors Competition

Year of Production: 2021

Running Time: 73’

Country: Spain and United States of America

Language: English and Spanish. Original version with Spanish subtitles

Director: Cèlia Novis

Producer: Cèlia Novis

International Sales: 3BOX Media International Sales

Main festivals and awards: Awarded a special mention at the Bilbao International Invisible Film Festival. Selected in Spain in the Women on Stage Film Festival, the Invisible International Film Festival Film Sozialak, Impacte! Catalonia Film and Human Rights Festival. Selected at the Manhattan Film Festival in the United States.


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