Let us introduce you to the Spanish director Irene Moray, who is participating in this year’s Berlinale Shorts competition.

Born in Barcelona, Spain in 1992, she is a photographer and filmmaker. Moving to Berlin in 2012, she spent three years collaborating with the performance collective the–family, performing across Europe at venues including the Astrup Fearnley Museum in Oslo and the Chisenhale Gallery in London. While in Berlin, she also made her first short film, Bad Lesbian. After four years in Germany, she returned to her hometown and made Suc de síndria (Watermelon Juice). She also works as a photographer for various agencies, producers and publications including i-D, Dream Magazine, Garage Films, Distinto Films and Erika Lust.

2. Photograph of the director - Irene Moray
© Irene Moray

On holiday in Catalonia, Pol and Bàrbara share a house with friends. The pair does what pairs do amidst the heat of summer and alongside the body of another. But something is wrong, and is instantly noticeable. She tries to regain her ability to orgasm, and he helps her. How naturally, effortlessly and adroitly the filmmaker directs this love and this work. It only takes a moment for rape to interfere with an entire lifetime. How much time, effort and dedication does it take to find your way back to your own sexuality? Pol and Bàrbara succeed because haste is suspended and the Suc de síndria, the juice of the watermelon, entices pleasure.

What is your ambition in the film?

My aim with this film is to present an alternative narrative of a woman who overcomes an experience of sexual abuse. When people talk about this reality the focus is always on the trauma instead of in the chance of healing, and I wanted to bring a new perspective on the topic, with more light and hope. Also I wanted to show a healthy relationship between the two protagonists, based on respect, compassion and trust.

What do you like about the short form?

I think it’s really difficult to make a good short film, because you have less time to make the audience engage and empathize with your story and characters. To create that connection in such a short time is pretty challenging. I guess I’m attracted to that and the creative freedom you can have in all the creative process.

What are your future plans?

I’m currently working on a feature film script. I think it’s going to take some time, because so far it has been a really intuitive and delicate process. My perfect plan would be to shoot the movie once the script is finished.

24 films from 17 countries will be competing for the Golden and Silver Bear, the Audi Short Film Award, endowed with 20,000 euros, and a nomination as “Berlin Short Film Candidate for the European Film Awards 2019”.

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