Loving Martha

Daniela López (director) & Sara Nanclares (producer)



After 39 years of being married to an abusive man, my grandmother Martha gives me a journal and four audio tapes that contain heart-breaking moments of violence my grandfather Amando made her go through. By doing so, she has one only purpose: that I don’t repeat her story.

Project Description

When I turned 17 and had decided I wanted to become a filmmaker, my grandmother Martha came to me with a journal and four audiotapes and said: “Here’s your first film”. It was a journal that contained painful memories about the physical and psychological abuse my grandmother suffered by the hand of my grandfather Amando for 39 years.

In the tapes, there were the audios my grandmother used to record when my grandfather came home drunk to threat her and the whole family. I was 8 years old and slept right next to her. As time passed, it became a routine for my grandmother to hide all the kitchen knives, hit play on the tape recorder that she hid under a sewing machine, lock her bedroom door and listen to the threats my grandfather Amando screamed at her from behind the door. Almost every day he would say he was going to kill her.

To my grandmother Martha, the four tapes and the journal represent her freedom, for she used these elements as evidence to become legally separated from my grandfather Amando on 20 July 2004, the same day as Colombia’s independence anniversary. Fifteen years later, we will be able to celebrate together what she has called her Independence Day.

Nowadays, my grandfather Amando lives alone in a rented room in central Medellin. He frequently calls my grandmother to know how her life is going and, sometimes, to ask if he can go back home. My family, that once showed disagreement to the making of this film, now seems to understand my grandmother’s need to tell what she lived with my grandfather Amando.

Through a letter, my grandmother expressed her concern about the risk of me repeating her story, because she saw in my partner a potential abuser. After receiving the letter, I feared violence had normalized within me and made me ask myself if I would be able to continue the legacy of strength and freedom that she wants to pass on to me.

Daniela López

Daniela López is a Colombian director and producer with a Masters in Documentary Filmmaking and a bachelor’s degree in Audiovisual Communication. Since 2012 she has worked as a director and a producer, developing skills in the management of audio-visual and film productions. In 2017 Daniela starts working on the development of her first feature documentary film, Amando a Martha [Loving Martha]. By 2020 the project had received the IDFA Bertha Fund, two grants from the Colombia Film Fund [FDC], as well as other local funds. The film was also selected to participate in the IDFAcademy Summer School, Residencias Walden and the Bogotá Audiovisual Market (2019) Daniela co-founded the Colombian-based production company Ruido.

Sara Nanclares

Sara Nanclares is a Colombian producer, writer and director, MA with distinction in Directing Film and Television and a degree in Audiovisual Communication. In 2017 her student project Todos los peces que maté was awarded a production grant by the Colombia Film Fund (FDC), as well as other local funds. In 2019, the resulting short film was awarded at the Cartagena International Film Festival and won the New Creators prize at the longest running short film festival in Colombia. In 2018 her first feature film screenplay Division is awarded a writing grant by the FDC. Sara co-founded the production company Ruido, with which she is currently producing Loving Martha, Ruido’s first feature film (Bertha Fund, FDC). As a producer, Sara has been part of markets such as the European Film Market, the Marché du Film and the Bogota Audiovisual Market

Project Index

Abo Zabaal Prison 1989



Baby Jackfruit

Baby Guava

Children of the Mist

Concrete Land

The Fabulous Gold Harvesting Machine


Just Another Year

Love Song. Pastorale

Loving Martha


The Mother of All Lies

Oh Father I don't Want to Hate You

The Soil and the Wings

The Two Mountains Weighing Down

My Chest