After the film screening, Q&A with the co-director Paola Calvo

Directed by Paola Calvo, Patrick Jasim – Germany, 2021

Translated by Caro Gervasi

Ciudad Juarez, the “Murder City”, claims thousands of victims every year as drug cartels clash with government forces in the so called “War on Drugs”. The city also coined the term “femicide” in Mexico and is the epicenter of a wave of murder and hate crimes on women throughout the country. The film is an intimate portrait of three courageous female wrestlers (Luchadoras) from Juarez who, despite being surrounded by machismo and in constant danger both, in the ring, and in their daily life’s, fight to redefine the image of what it means to be a woman in Mexico.
The short statued Mini Serinita, who’s biggest dream is to become a full time Luchadora and leave the factory work that disenfranchises so many women in Juarez for good. Lady Candy, who can see the U.S. side of the border, where her daughters were taken, from the window of her house but due to visa regulations can never cross it. And Baby Star, the young single mother who was a Lucha Libre Star at an early age and now makes her way to a come back. With Mexican passion they present an image of being woman that is strong, loud and confident. They are Luchadoras, female fighters in Mexican wrestling, known as Lucha Libre.


2021 SXSW South by Southwest, Austin Texas

2021 GRANIT – Documentary Award for the best documentary – 55 Hof IFF exground filmfest 34

2021 FIPRESCI Critics Prize, Special Jury Award, Audience Award at  Thessaloniki TIFF

2021 Audience Award at Valladolid International Film Festival Seminci

​​2021 Best Director and Best Doc Feature at Nottingham NIFF

2022 Docs Against Gravity

Direction Paola Calvo, Patrick Jasim
Screenplay Paola Calvo, Patrick Jasim, Phillip Kaminiak
Production Phillip Kaminiak
Photography Patrick Jasim
Editing Gines Olivares


Paola Calvo was born in Venezuela on May 22, 1981. In 2005, she completed her Master’s degree in Audiovisual Communication at the Universidad Complutense in Madrid. In 2006, she began studying at the German Film and Television Academy Berlin (dffb), specializing in documentary film (directing and cinematography). During her studies she worked as a cinematographer on films by fellow students and co-directed the short feature film “35.000 Stunden” (2009), about the last night together of a separated couple.
Calvo graduated from dffb as cinematographer, producer and director of the long documentary “Violently Happy” (2016). For the camera work of Katarina Schröter’s documentary “The Visitor” (2014) she received the award for Best Cinematography at the Film Festival achtung berlin 2014. In 2019, she founded the production company Tumult together with Patrick Jasim and Phillip Kaminiak in Berlin. That same year, she and Jasim began work on the documentary “Luchadoras”.

Patrick Jasim worked for several years as a material and camera assistant, before he began studying camera at the German Film – and Television Academy Berlin (dffb). There he frequently worked as a cinematographer with director Moritz Krämer. He went on to be the cinematographer on the TV mockumentary “Operation Naked” (2016), the Berlin nightlife study “Night Out” (2018), which premiered at the Thessaloniki Film Festival (Greece), and the documentary “Helmut Berger, meine Mutter und ich” (“Helmut Berger, My Mother and Me”, 2018).

In 2019, he founded the production company Tumult together with Paola Calvo and Phillip Kaminiak in Berlin.