• Berlin International Film Festival

    Generation Kplus Int'l Jury Special Mention, Crystal Bear Best Film
  • Blue Danube Film Festival

    Best Feature Film
  • Beijing International Film Festival

  • Festival de Huelva

  • International Film Festival Innsbruck

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Spanish with English subtitles

With Clementina Folmer, Mara Bestelli, Pablo Seijo, Irene Zequin, Ariel Núñez, Mónica Núñez, Carla Rucitti, Viviana Taus

After numerous rejections, Julia and Antonio, Ema’s parents, finally find a safe place for their daughter, who has been diagnosed on the autism spectrum. In the caring community of the new primary school located in a small town on the banks of the Paraná River, Ema can observe and explore the world in silence and at her own pace.

Based on the director’s own family history, Betania Cappato’s film astutely and tenderly chronicles Ema’s small steps, which transform into magical moments, where solidarity appears in the least expected ways.


“A sincere, genuine story made straight from the heart.” – Diego Batlle, Otroscines.com

“The improvisations, especially that of the children, make this story plausible and real; a film that transcends the screen.” – Lucía Martín Muñoz, EscribiendoCine

“Told with minimal elements, the first fiction feature by Betania Cappato from Santa Fe knows how to mix fiction with documentary elements, which add to the feeling of authenticity.” – Horacio Bernades, Pagina 12

A School in Cerro Hueso manages to convey very well the experience of changing your life and arriving at an unknown and strange place that, unexpectedly, becomes your new home. Here, the protagonists not only manage to recover their somewhat lost hopes after so many school rejections, but they once again believe in each other, in their neighbors, in the idea of ​​a group that helps each other to bring out the best in each other. The metaphor regarding the country is useful, but that does not stop it from being valuable and especially appropriate for these moments.” – Diego Lerer

About the Director

Betania Cappato was born in 1984 in Colastiné, Argentina. Betania is a producer and director, known for A School in Cerro Hueso (2021), En compañía (2021), and Toublanc (2017).

Notes on Film

“When my little brother was two years old, he showed stark changes in his personality. Bit by bit he turned more distant, more silent. Until one day he stopped looking us in the eyes and he lost contact with reality.

A School in Cerro Hueso is a movie inspired by his story, my family’s story. And surely also the story of a lot of other families that are excluded from a system that still keeps on being intolerant and destructive regarding what is different.

Our protagonists are people who are fighting to survive in a world that advances into an ever-alien dimension. Characters with strong convictions that because of a particular situation, are obliged to abandon their upper-class lifestyle, moving to the suburbs and entering into contact with an unknown universe.

Against this background, the precarious school of Cerro Hueso, lost at the shore of the Paraná River, seems like a real shelter. The place where Ema for the first time finds a sense of belonging. This place where the differences don’t seem to exist.

Some of the conflicts that I was interested in dealing with are about the confrontation that appears between the idea of society and the “lying in wait” of the primitive, the intercultural relationships or those across classes, and the discovery of an underlying order under the appearances.

Besides, I believe that narration should have the goal of depicting (leaving an imprint) an experience. I wanted to make a fiction movie, but filmed “from the inside.” I was especially interested in taking the time to get to know and accompany the characters, discovering their personal universe slowly, layer by layer.

A School in Cerro Hueso is the portrait and the exploration of a close and tangible, but also emotional universe. It is the story of some lives that change from one moment to the other. Leaving in evidence the fragility of this imaginary world that we build ourselves every day. It is also about our capacities of adaptation to the unknown, and about our fears. About how we can grow even in the most adverse situations.

A School in Cerro Hueso talks about the different, the ungraspable within human relationships, the mystery of communication, but above all, about how in the end, we are all alike.

A couple of years ago, my brother finally started primary school. A teacher approached my father and told him: “We will have to learn to be like the Casuarina tree that grows at the rivers’ shores, holding on to the ground with our roots to endure the flooding.”

I am still thinking of this image, the one of firmly holding onto each other, embracing us, even though the water undermines the ground. To keep on going. Together.

Maybe the strongest motivation for this project (and maybe also the greatest challenge) was nothing else than to find “this image” that brings us closer together, that converts the alien into mutual.”

– Betania Cappato, Director