04.19.2017 Latin Lover Pair successfully directs "Chavela," the story of an idiosyncratic star

"How does one pay a cinematographic tribute to an icon such as Mexican singer Chavela Vargas, who embodies utter simplicity and utmost complexity at the same time?  This is what filmmakers Catherine Gund and Daresha Kyi achieved with their documentary Chavela, a moving and thought-provoking portrait of the enigmatic singer who helped change the way we see ranchera music and who redefined what it means to be a female singer in the macho world of Mexico."

New Renaissance Film Festival interview directors Catherine Gund and Daresha Kyi about Chavela, which recently won the Second Place Audience Award at the Berlin Film Festival.

“This depiction of the Mexican singer Chavela Vargas’ chequered life turns out intensely celebratory, and will send fans and newcomers alike rushing to the back catalogue of a great vocalist.”

"Unmissable...probably Donald Trump's ultimate nightmare- a Mexican lesbian diva who can wring your very soul."

2nd place Panorama Audience Award Panorama Dokumente 2017 goes to Chavela!

"In a society as misogynistic as that, a lesbian had no place . But Chavela managed to be the most "macho" among the males, she defined herself by smoking like a chimney and drinking as if there were no tomorrow."


"A work that projects the life and work of the most Mexican Costa Rican."

"A trailblazing free spirit whose appetite for tequila and women was as legendary as her soul-stirring vocals..."

"Legendary Mexican singer Chavela Vargas receives justifiably laudatory treatment in this documentary celebrating her refusal to compromise together with her musical brilliance."

"The reception at Berlin was unbeatable: the theaters for the screenings were sold out and a long and emotional applause crowned the premiere."

"Chavela is an exceptional documentary because in 90 minutes it focuses on the image and life of the artist without shrinking away from her contradictions, her pains (she died still enraged because of her mother's lack of love for her), her passions and her talent. Yesterday in Berlin the applause was well deserved."

"Certainly, films about the expression of agony rarely feel this uplifting."

"After the singer’s death, Gund began to revisit the tapes and found a treasure trove of raw, authentic Chavela contained within the fading magnetic tape. Teaming up with Kyi, an old friend and fellow filmmaker, Gund set out to bring the tapes back to live within the context of Chavela’s career and living legacy."

"Chavela is a tribute to the performer, whose extraordinary talent took her to the concert halls of the world."