Hernán Caffiero, director and producer of 2018’s International Emmy-winning “The Suspended Mourning,” is teaming with up-and-coming director Bárbara Francisca Barrera Morales on “La vida de nosotras” – formerly “Voces anónimas” or “Anonymous Voices” in English – and the two will pitch their new short-format series at this year’s inaugural Sanfic Series Lab, joined by BTF Media director of production Sebastián Ignacio Catalán Silva, who is producing.

“La vida de nosotras” is an anthology of 16, five-minute short films telling the real stories of Chilean women who have battled and survived various manifestations of gender-based violence.

“From the outset it was essential to choose real stories that were representative not only of extreme violence, such as femicides, femicide suicides or femicidal punishments, but also of other manifestations of violence such as labor harassment, sexual political violence, institutional violence, violence against lesbians, violence against migrant and indigenous women, among others,” explains Barrera. “This allows us to establish the editorial line of the series, that violence against women is a structural problem which is at the base of society and exists as a continuum, in that women suffer violence from birth until we die.”

Each of the stories will have its own unique and genuine aesthetic and narrative identity, seeking to organically immerse the viewer in a short yet intense journey, with the human and emotional experience as a common thread throughout.

The series comes in an era of public outcry against gender violence in Chile. Millions of women have publicly demonstrated across the country in the past two years and the local song “El violador eres tú” quickly became a global anthem in the struggle against gender-based violence.

“We believe that a series like this is essential to raise awareness, challenge, denounce and educate both men and women about this problem and that together as a society we can move forward towards the eradication of violence against women,” Barrera says of the larger impact the series aspires towards. “It is essential for us to develop narrative keys that are of interest not only to those who are linked to these issues, but also to an audience that has remained oblivious to them.”

Caffiero agrees, noting that more generally, “When a cultural work is the first point of access in raising awareness, it is much easier to come back to the topic with audiences later. Using these tools is essential to the construction of healthier, empathetic and supportive societies, which not only understand the problems that concern others, but assimilate and feel them.”

Beyond the social and perhaps political impact of cultural works, Caffiero the filmmaker knows that for any impact to be made, people must want to watch the series.

“We believe that entertaining should go hand in hand with depth of content, and when we talk about entertaining, we don’t necessarily mean mainstream productions that simply distract the viewer; we’re talking about pieces that impact, entertain and contribute. I think when that’s achieved, the audiovisual exercise is complete.”