Marianela Maldonado

Writer / Director


After graduating from the  NFTS  (UK), Marianela made the short films  The Look of Happiness and  Breaking Out, both premiered at Cannes, which gave her access to the  Cinéfondation writing residence. As a screenwriter, she participated in  Peter and the Wolf (Oscar 2008), Unmade Beds (Sundance 2009),  The Flying Machine  (Toronto 2013) and  Magic Piano  (NY Film Festival 2011).    She is now editing her documentary  The Children of Las Brisas, filmed over the past 6 years in a dangerous slum of Venezuela.


The Belly of the Whale

Santiago and Sofia share the same father: Roger, a congressman accused of corruption.  They have never been close, they actually despise each other, but this changes when they are forced to hide in the east coast of Venezuela, after their father becomes a paranoid fugitive. They are taken to a remote beach house by Manuel, a young fisherman that Santiago remembered from his childhood. They are soon left completely abandoned, circumstance that drives them closer. After a storm leaves the house with no electricity, they are forced to walk for more than a day through a deep jungle until they finally reach the fisher’s town. They manage to find Manuel and notice he lives as a squatter in an old tuna company confiscated years ago by Roger.  Santiago and Sofia face the devastation caused by their father’s corruption and realize that Manuel is part of the criminal network. Driven by his strong desire of salvation, Santiago doesn’t abort his escape plan, but believes his ally can betray them.