10’ 18” | Black and White | 16mm captura | Digital | No sound WIP | 2022 | Cuba, México, France


In what was my third visit to Havana and initially a trip commissioned to experimentally register the making of a public sculpture, I found myself walking while waiting. Waiting, together with the other artists, to know if the making of the piece would even take place – some permits where on hold. Uncertainty and my limited time there, little over a month, uncoupled the works.
I found myself walking, revisiting, and filming. Mostly filming the neighborhood we stayed at: El vedad – Calle 9 between L and J, Parque de los suspiros…
Ascending and descending numbers and letters, bumping and u-turning at the Malecón, Almendares River, Zapata. My own sort of magna doodle (magnetic drawing toy) with the district. Doubling paths with faces, sites, trees, cats…that would start to become familiar. Doubling paths with my own memories of having been there as a child, as a teen… Coppelia again and again, sit in the park, now with wifi. It is and it isn’t a film of Havana; somehow it can and can’t be a film of Havana, in the same way a stroll is and it isn’t just walking.

Image (Directing, Filming, Editing) – Manuela De Laborde.
Featuring – Vecinos de Vedado, Luis Carricaburu
Developing – Estudios Churubusco
Postproduction – Light cone – Atelier 105
Color CorRection – Clovis Stocchetti
Thanks to

La espina dorsal de un duelo

1 hr 21’ | Digital + MiniDV + 16mm capture | Digital projection | Color and B&W | Sound | 2022

The backbone of loss — first feature.

Some accounts bend the soul. Such changes, such losses, fold us. We curl up around the hollow. Then, to raise is to unfold. That which requires forms of return, to dwell and reflect. Then, memories prove themselves useful: stacked up, a column of support; moved around they play novel roles and entertain.
At the peripheries of such accounts, in the process of change, external beings turn towards us, the world becomes loaded with entrails, the other moves us, while in face of everything we pour ourselves. Divides where never so present and simultaneously misty.
The backbone of loss is a trajectory. It is myth as verb and essay intertwined. It is the flexible virtuality of structures; diverse forms talk like sisters. Like Chiropractice, this film is an adjustment, proper and of cinema’s patterns towards the unpredictable, the playful or loving.

Producer, Director – Manuela De Laborde
Image + Text – Manuela de Laborde
Sound – Camila de Laborde
Camara “Celeste” – Tony García
Videographics – Mike Stoltz
Graphic design – Adolfo Vega
Developing + Transfer – Labo + Labtank + Josuelo Rueda
Color correction – Tony García + Manuela de Laborde
Recording studio – Finesse Records
Song credits – Opuntia + Jenny Berger Myhre
Final Sound Mix – Matías Pepe
Subtitles – Emmanuel Miranda
Staring – Citlali Cerón, John Martinez, Celeste Avila, Norma Lilia Cruz, José Luis Gómez, Norma Azucena Gómez, Juan Pablo Viedma, Chankin Jorge García Vázquez, Marco Urbina, Enrique González, José Dario Fernandez Mora, Ursula Rebollar, Florencia Carrizo


2’ 50” | 16mm capturo | 16mm + Digital | no sound | 2020 | Cuba

Luis Carricaburu languidly but with emphasis executes the movement; with generous patience towards the camera, as if he feared that the film would not be able to register it. The movement has been stripped of its perpetual combustion. Gestures abstracted from their environment are recombined to produce a language without content, phantoms of something that, elsewhere, are still alive.

Image – Manuela De Laborde.
Collaborator – Luis Carricaburu
Thanks to – Tezontle studio + Galeria Peana


21’45” | Digital + 16mm capture | 16MM | Color | Sound | 2021

The result of Conditional Cinema Program (2018-2022) residency with the Internationale Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen. Its post-production was made during Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto Residency.
Ficciones is a spell that conjures representations as if imagined from the perspective of the plant world, that which invents prior to consciousness, as a thinking before thinking (M. Marder). Ceramic sculptures were gardened for a year letting plant life grow on them as their skin. Four super-8 cameras were made into a mobile, thereby also filming the process and its shared motion. To embrace the filmed material as fictional construction, it was optically printed and altered; to accompany the notion of the sculptures as possible chests, containers of heart, vocal sounds were recorded with Camila de Laborde and woven into the film.

Image – Manuela De Laborde.
Sound – Camila de Laborde + Daniel Hermann Collini
Commissioned + Financial Support – International Short Film Festival Oberhausen + Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto Residency

World Premier, 67. International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, Conditional Cinema, 05/2021
Documenta Madrid – Manuela de Laborde focus film program, 05/2021
59th New York Film Festival – 24Sep-10 Oct/ 2021
Black Canvas Festival Mexico – Competition Más Allá del Canvas, 01-10/Oct/2021
65th BFI London Film Festival – Thinking with other senses program 6-17/Oct/2021
Nomadica Brescia – 21-25/April/2022
68 International Short Film Festival Oberhausen 30-9/May/2022
Rencontres Internacional Video Library 2 – 8 May (Paris) 16 – 22 Ago (Berlin) 2022
Midnight Sun Festival 15-19/June/2022
EXiS – International Competition Program, Seoul Art Cinema 15 july/ 2022 South Korea
Nomadica, Brescia 2022

Azúcar y saliva y vapor

15’20” | Digital + 16mm capture | Digital projection | Color and B&W | Sound | 2020

SUGAR AND SALIVA AND STEAM investigates with minimalism and tenderness, offering a counterproposal, the cinematic desire to be enveloping and three-dimensional, almost with suffocating levels at times.

Its “three-dimensionality” is explored via “poor” mechanisms – primary, direct, analogous, ancient, poetic … – without ceasing to frankly present their structure. Two first spaces for critical contemplation end with a tribute to Lygia Clark’s performance, Caminhando (Brazil 1963), to somehow impregnate the project with the posture and exploration of the admired conceptual art-movement of the Não-object.

Direction – Manuela De Laborde.
Sound – Sol Oosel.
Camera – Andrés Arochi
Production – Gonzalo Romero
Performance – Alana Burns
Graphic design – James Huw King
Financial support – UNAM, Síntesis FICUNAM

FICUNAM – 03/2020
FILMADRID – 10/2020


5’55” | mix | Apple ProRes 422 HQ | Color y B&N | Stereo | 2019


18’40” | 16mm | DCP | Color + B&W | Stereo | 2019

Abstract 16mm work documenting a group of artists immersed in the jungle among the surreal constructions of Edward James while creating sculptural works of their own. A diptych of the filmmakers’ subjective style, it uses colour and black-and-white to create two separate dreamlike and fragmented expressions of a single event. The viewer is drawn into everything that this impressive setting entails: the local residents, nature, the preparation of the food… En La Era, is firmly rooted in the sensory, with sound design by Camila Fuchs fusing electronic compositions with field recordings – revealing unpredictable characters in visual reference.

Image – Manuela De Laborde.
Sound recording – Manuela De Laborde + Carlos Kater
Sound composing – Camila Fuchs
On site production – MONTEM collective + Silvestre culinary project.



24’38” | 16mm + 35mm (or Digital if no other) | Color | Sound | 2016

The world is nothing but “world-as-meaning” ―M. Merleau-Ponty.

By abstracting concepts from their concrete properties, Laborde looks to create [virtual] spaces and [regenerate] the image. Inspired by simplicity of expression and economy of detail, her practice is a meditation on physical presence.
Conceptually informed by artist Manuela De Laborde’s active filmgoing, this piece takes as its point of departure prop sculptures which are transformed both through hybrid techniques of framing, lighting, and superimposition and the influence of the silent architectural space of the cinema.
The sculpture’s materiality points to the materiality of film, and their stillness shares the spectators anchored bodies in their seat. The almost absent sound, made in collaboration with Camila De Laborde. Various continuous noise layers offer direction through the film while specific sounds, flirting with the cinematic sync, refresh the image and bring the spectator’s attention to the present moment.
AS WITHOUT explores the possibility that the surface of things is worthy of its own depth – for and in themselves – demanding to be seen and confronted as they exist.

Image – Manuela De Laborde
Sound – Manuela De Laborde + Camila De Laborde
Titles – Freddy Taylor and Minjung Kim

Screenings – Centre de Cultura Contemporànea de Barcelona (2021\) | Toronto International Film Festival, Wavelengths | WNDX Festival in Winnipeg (Best International Short) | 25 FPS Festival in Zagreb GRAND PRIX | 46th International Film Festival Rotterdam – Competition Tigger Shorts | New Directors/New Films – MoMA + Film Society of Lincoln Center | Milwaukee Underground Film Festival – April 20th – 23rd | 24th Chicago Underground Film Festival (JURY AWARD)| 30th Anniversary of Sala Redenção – QUESTÕES DE ESPAÇO | VideoEx – Zurich | FILMADRID Festival Internacional de Cine | 32nd Mignight Sun Film Festival – Finland | Lima Independiente Film Festival | Arsenal cinema program by James Lattimer – Berlin | Singapore International Festival of Arts | Curtas Vila do Conde, Portugal | EXiS festival – Seoul | Uplink Theater – Tokyo | Media City Film Festival’s 22nd – Windsor, Canada and Detroit, USA | 20th Contemporary Art Festival Sesc_Videobrasil | L’Âge d’Or Prize at L’Âge d’Or FF – CINEMATEK, Brussels. | ULTRAcinema.


12’58” | Apple ProRes 422 HQ | Color + B&W | Stereo | 2019

It is the formal record of a revelation: the importance of pleasure in her practice. A drawing that became an essay and a soundscape. Quoting the only fragment from Barthes’ A Lover’s Discourse: Fragments, where she found he truly spoke passionately: when he wrote directly about language. Under the formal influence of S. Reich and having in mind Untitled (Perfect Lovers) by Felix González-Torres, the presence of a double was created. Gradually phasing, generating a two, pleasure talks to that which reverberates.

Image + Sonido – Manuela de Laborde


6’19” | H.264 | Color | Stereo | 2015

Small essay on the new image technology done by an Electron Microscope, which aesthetically relates to some aspects of Manuela’s plastic practice. The Exponential Nature of Images, also contemplates the general public’s interaction with these images: the internet and computer. The diegetic sound of her studio, that incorporated itself to the film during the screen recording, plays on the film’s posible reference to sci-fi genre.

Image + Sound – Manuela de Laborde

Screened at Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival – Czech Republic.


6’35” | Apple ProRes 422 (HQ) | B&W | Stereo | 2014

‘A palimpsest of which the imprints of human action are continually being erased and re-written and quite often smudged’ (Armillas, 1971 : 665)

First palimpsest of three: Viveros, with its strokes, attempts to do an abstract record of Mexican culture, within and abroad (the sound, was recorded in Santa Clarita, Los Angeles). The notion of movement created by the simple sliding of photographs, together with the fragmented sound and the elimination of color, reduce the locations to abstractions. Removed from its real sources, this presentation finds its soil and source of hydration in the sensory experience, free of obvious narrative, that the film provides over time.

Image + sound – Manuela de Laborde.

Screened at Seffbinghamton and Antimatter Festival – 2015.


2’24” | 16mm | B&W | No Sound | 2019

Línea is a hot (straight from the camera) animated film. Shot in single frames, it fragmentally captures and (re)constructs the continuous movement of a horizon made of dark water and oil. Together with it’s negative copy, when presented as a double projection, the claro-obscuro landscape is cancelled out; only during small moments of mechanical divergence, contrast is revealed again.

Screened at Faro Aragon – CDMX.


12’46” | Apple ProRes 422 HQ | Color | No Sound | 2014

What at first seems to be a static shot of the inside of a club, is slowly revealed, by passers-by, to be an overtly dense lighting shop somewhere in a busy street. This portrait of a traditional commerce shop in Mexico City’s downtown, while never revealing more that itself, becomes an extended metaphor for what exists in the rest of the outer frame, the rest of downtown – a dense combination of…. everything.


23’34” | Apple ProRes 422 HQ | Color | Stereo | 2018

Fantasma (Spanish for Ghost), like its name, is an “apparition” project, an image imprinted in fantasy. The form shaped the concept and its unexpected behavior (echoed image, recording ‘error’) provokes the gaze.
Simple recording, with a cellphone, of a walk through the mountains of Lake Hughes, California. The time of year, winter, rendered colors more saturated. The film leads us to question the contemplation of nature through an artifact, when its default runs over the image. Juan Pablo Viedma took inspiration in the contrast analogue-digital for the sound design.
Fantasma is a compromise towards the comprehension that: like a walk, a movie only offers its experience over time.

Image – Manuela de Laborde / Sound – Juan Pablo Viedma



5’40” | Apple ProRes 422 HQ | Color | Stereo | 2015

Titled after Maurice Merleay-Ponty’s book: Le visible et L’invisible, is a family portrait and an observation on our relationship(s) to the image. My grandmother’s blindness and devotion contrast and defy the experience, seeing, of my uncle, mother, and myself, that document exhaustingly in our cameras what she holds only in memory.

Image + sound – Manuela de Laborde


18’28” | Apple ProRes 422 HQ | Color | No Sound | 2016

Structural, appropriation piece that takes from two internet sources: a mime performance and a solitary cluber. A study and an entertainment around notions of acting, self-consciousness and its absence, documentary and slight fictional narrative and, most importantly, the portrait of a woman.


5’31” 18’28” | Apple ProRes 422 HQ | Color | Stereo | 2015

Play locating the phenomenon of animation once the hand comes in touch with the object, another.
The spider to my hand, is what my hand is to the spider. A duet and a revelation of intention.

Image + sound – Manuela de Laborde



3’04” | Apple ProRes 422 HQ | Color | Mono | 2014

A portrait of my sister, Camila


0’35” | 16mm | Color | Optical track | 2014

The first complete 16mm film I made. A small test attempting to document the two landscapes of a single location, close up and far away. And their relationship to the frame and how that became a dramatic time lapse of ethereal behavior, sunset and light leaks.



5’14” | Apple ProRes 422 HQ | Color | Stereo | 2013

Much of its visions, like the conceptual frame the title gives, still holds for me.



10’47” | Apple ProRes 422 HQ | Color | Stereo | 2013

Music video for early Camila Fuchs.