El despertar de las hormigas

Isa is a dressmaker and lives with her family in a small town in Costa Rica. She and her two daughters all have luxuriant long hair, of which they take exquisite care. It is plaited and combed, knots are carefully untangled, chewing gum laboriously removed. No scissors are used. Alcides, Isa’s husband and the father of the two girls, wants a third child – a son. Isa, however, doesn’t want another pregnancy. She wants to focus on working and already has more than enough on her plate with two children and the household, which she manages on her own. Until now, she’s never questioned her role within the family. Yet when she notices that Alcides doesn’t seem to be listening and persists with his wish for a third child, she realises that something must change. She secretly obtains birth-control pills. Is she now starting to take charge of her sexuality and identity? Told in vivid colours and with fleeting moments of surrealism, El despertar de las hormigas is the arresting story of the emancipation of a young woman, who despite the narrow confines of patriarchal social structures begins to find her own path and articulate her own needs.
by Antonella Sudasassi Furniss
with Daniella Valenciano, Leynar Gómez, Isabella Moscoso, Avril Alpízar, Adriana Álvarez, Carolina Fernández, Katia Arce
Costa Rica / Spain 2019 Spanish 94’ Colour


  • Daniella Valenciano (Isabel)
  • Leynar Gómez (Alcides)
  • Isabella Moscoso (Valery)
  • Avril Alpízar (Nicole)
  • Adriana Álvarez (Vanessa)
  • Carolina Fernández (Mireya)
  • Katia Arce (Carmen)


Written and Directed by Antonella Sudasassi Furniss
Cinematography Andrés Campos
Editing Raúl De Torres
Music Sergio De La Puente
Sound Design Vicente Villaescusa
Sound Abraham Arce, Stefano Zolla
Production Design Laura Castillo
Costumes Ruth Vargas
Make-Up Alessandra Calleja
Producers Amaya Izquierdo Betta Films, José Esteban Alenda Solita Films

World sales

FiGa Films

Antonella Sudasassi Furniss

Born in San José, Costa Rica in 1986. She studied Media Management and Audiovisual Production and works as a writer and director. In 2017, she took part in the Berlinale Talents programme in Guadalajara. El despertar de las hormigas is her first feature-length film.


2008 Descartable; 6 min. 2010 De cómo para Cecilia el rojo dejó de ser fuego; 9 min. 2016 El despertar de las hormigas: niñez; 17 min. 2019 El despertar de las hormigas

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2019