International Competition

The Dread

Martín Benchimol, Pablo Aparo
Screening time  
26.02. / Monday, 16:00 - 18:00 Theatre 4  
01.03. / Thursday, 19:00 - 21:00 Theatre 5  
02.03. / Friday, 13:00 - 15:00 Theatre 1  
A strange disease threatens the residents of "El Dorado". Only an old man knows the antidote, however no one is encouraged to visit him.

The residents of the Argentine village of El Dorado do not like doctors. Anything short of a surgical procedure they can take care of themselves. Each of them has his or her own specialities and methods. Some heal from a distance – just send a text message, the patient makes the sign of the cross and it’s taken care of – while others use a special piece of string or incantation. For a toothache, hold a frog against your cheek. One man can heal the dreaded affliction known as espanto, a mortal fear. How does 65-year-old Jorge do this? People prefer to keep it a secret, but those who have undergone his treatment will tell you it’s very effective. Meanwhile, the men do not want to let their wives see Jorge for anything. In this drily comic film with a light touch, the villagers tell us their stories, exposing the inaccuracy of their theories and the mystery concealed behind them.


Martín Benchimol

Martín Benchimol is an Argentine film director born in 1985. His latest film The Castle premiers at the 73rd Berlinale - Panorama, after winning the two Industry awards at Latam WIP - San Sebastian. The Dread (2017) premiered at IDFA, where it won the IDFA Award for Best Film. The River People (2012) premiered at DOK Leipzig. A Robust Heart (IDFA 2022) is his first short film.


Pablo Aparo

Martín Benchimol was born in Buenos Aires in 1985. Pablo Aparo was born in Buenos Aires in 1985. Both graduated in Image and Sound Design from the University of Buenos Aires (U.B.A.). The River People (2012) is their first film together premiered in DOK Leipzig and screened in numerous international festivals winning the best documentary award at the Latin American Film Festival of Flanders. The Dread (2017) is their latest film.

General sponsor

El Espanto

2017, 67'

Directed by:
Martín Benchimol, Pablo Aparo

Screenplay by:
Pablo Aparo, Martín Benchimol

Fernando Lorenzale, Martín Benchimol

Edited by:
Anita Remón


Mayra Bottero, Gema Juarez Allen

Produced by:
Gema Films

Festivals & Awards:

IDFA 2017 – Award for Best Mid-Length Documentary, Kraków Film Festival 2018; Guadalajara International Film Festival 2018, DocPoint Helsinki 2018