Ovidio Fernández

Shoots from Abyssinia

The land, end of a cycle

The Hands of a People

Naviegos, people of the frontier

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Shoots from Abyssinia


Abdul, the protagonist, is a 15 year old boy that lives in Galicia and decided to journey to his native land after 4 years of living in Europe. His father gives him a book, A History of Ethiopia, written in Portuguese 400 years ago by a Spanish priest Pedro Paez. The boy uses this book as a guide, following in the footsteps of its author. Little by little the shadow, the spirit of Paez, makes its presence felt, becoming more real. At the same time Ethiopia itself becomes more and more real.

The story, planned as a journey of initiation, ends when he finally reaches the source of the Nile that Paez discovered for the world 400 years ago. The symbolic baptism in these waters fuse legend and reality, a child with his country, his river, his life.


Technical data


Footage of film:

101 minutos.


 H264 HD.

Main character of the film:

Abdul Fernández Fondevila

Executive producer:

Catarina Fernández Fondevila

Direction, Script and Camera:

Ovidio Fernández Sánchez


The land, end of a cycle


Marta personifyes an entire galician generation that definitively breaks with a world in crisis. Issued from a long genealogy of farmers, she is aware of their vanishing world and she starts a trip across the ruined villages of the neighbourhood, asking and discussing with friends and historians, searching for an answer. Without renouncing to her past linked to the land, she claims for her share in a new but uncertain world.

“TERRA, fin de ciclo” (THE LAND, end of a cycle) is a documentary off idyllic stereotypes on the rural galician atmosphere, that confronts the naked reality of a past full of penances and misery. In our villages, formerly full of life and labour, only the elders remain. As more and more houses become empty, it is an inexorable evolution towards wild areas overcome by bushes, gumtrees and windmills. Questions, doubts and reflections are confronted in the human circle around this girl born at the village of Sinllan, of the borough of As Nogais in the heart of the galician mountains.


Technical data


Based upon an idea from: Marta de Sinllán and Ovidio Fernández

Image, Script and Direction: Ovidio Fernández Sánchez

Length: 54 minutes

Format: Digital Video 4:3

Filming beginning: November 2001.

Sets:   Sinllán (As Nogais)

             Pena da seara (Pedrafita)

             Coruxedo e Vilarantón (Navia de Suarna)

             Grobas (Forcarei)

             Castro de Viladonga (Terra Chá)

             Burgo das Nacións, Museo do Pobo Galego, ¨Los Abetos¨ Hotel, and streets of Santiago de Compostela

Special guests:

          Marta de Sinllán

          Leonisa López and Amaro Rodríguez (Marta’s parents).

          Xosé Manuel Vega (journalist)

          Modesta Fernández Gómez (neighbour)

             Lucía Rey Insua and Esperanza González (students)

             Manuel Rodríguez (butcher)

             José Manuel Valle (apprentice butcher)

             Xosé Ramón Villares (historian)

          Felipe Arias (historian and director of the Viladonga Museum)


          “Canto da sega de Vilar de Mouros” (Popular).   Interpret: Suso de Vilar de Mouros

          “Berimbao en Navia” .    Composition / interpret:  Cesar Fernández

          “Track 5 de “Clave de naïf.”  Composition / interpret:  Serafín Carballo

          “Translation.”   Composition / interpret:   José Nine

          “Follow me.”  Composition: José Nine.  Intérpret:  Noneto

          “Musica popular de Etiopía” Interpret: Street children in Addis Ababa

          “Xota de Buscás”  Composition / interpret:   Sr. Calviño de Buscás

          “Fame, soedade e bagoas”  Composition / interpret :  Fuxan os Ventos

The Hands of a People, against the black tide.


 Saturday the 15th of November 2002, three days after the grounding of the tanker Prestige, the first oil slicks arrive on the Galician coast. During a weekend of gale force winds the local fishermen, along with tourists and curious onlookers, contemplate the beginning of what would become Europe’s worst oil spill. A few days later they would have to go to sea to try and stop the oil from destroying their livelihood.

A Galician TV crew witnessed, during three months, the tireless effort of the people of this coast in blocking and removing the oil slick. Two years later, taking with them their original recordings, they returned to the coast to find those that had appeared briefly, for twenty seconds or so, in TV news broadcasts as they tried to avert an ecological disaster with their own hands.





Original Idea:  Xandra Tedin and Ovidio Fernández

Script and Direction: Ovidio Fernández Sánchez and Xandra Tedín

Video Editing: José Antonio Cancela

Camera: Ovidio Fernández

Duration:  52 minutes

Format: Betacam SX

Locations:    Costa da Morte:  Camariñas (Santa Mariña and Camelle) ,  Fisterra,  Malpica and Carnota

Ría de Arousa:  Aguiño  Ribeira, Meloxo, Noalla and O Grove



Naviegos, people of the frontier


    Is an idea that was born in the games of childhood, matured in the mind of the author, and today has become real in an attempt to recuperate the ways of life determined by the river. A ball floating down the river and the desire to recuperate it 31 years later, brings the author to retrace the route, experiencing many and varied stories from the frontier.

   Galicia is a nation in the NW corner of the Spanish state. A green, mountainous land, it is known for the cape of Finisterrae, the westernmost part of Europe and, during centuries, the end of the world. The capital of Galicia, Santiago de Compostela, is known as the site of the shrine of St. James and is, with Rome and Jerusalem, one of the three principal sites of pilgrimage for Christians since the middle ages.

   The River Navia, that forms the eastern border of Galicia with Asturias, rises in the meeting point of these two autonomous communities with that of Castilla y León. Traversed by the pilgrim route to Santiago de Compostela and with a rich history, the mountains bordering the Navia are today better known for being the epicenter of the most intense earth tremors that have affected Spain in recent years.

   This documentary follows the course of the river from its beginning, a spring by the village of Busnullán in Galicia, to the town of Navia on the Asturian coast of the Cantabrian Sea. On this journey we see laid bare the changes that have affected these lands through the eyes and mouths of the people who live there.

   The story of the Navia was strongly marked in the twentieth century by the policies of the Spanish government under the dictator General Franco. The Spanish Civil War affected greatly the region of Asturias, one of the most fiercely anti-fascist areas of Spain. In the aftermath of the war the dictatorship began a series of projects that changed completely the face of the Navia, building a series of reservoirs that amounted to forced depopulation, and environmental alteration.




Technical data


The documentary, was shot over a period of one year, beginning in November of 1999.


Footage of film: 90 min.

Format:  BETACAM SP 4:3

Original Music: ADN.

Recorded in the studios of  Radio Galega.

Sound Technician:  Pablo Barreiro.

Production: Carmen Mosquera Sende.

Edition in AVID: Jesús González García.

Direction, Script and Camera: Ovidio Fernández Sánchez