The production of a highly original play, combining stage performance with film, was the highlight of 2009 for Federico León.
Yo en el Futuro (Me in the future) is about a group of children who, in the 1950s, filmed home videos to watch in their old age. Now almost 70 years old, they recruit children and young adults to act out the scenes that they filmed years ago, giving them a chance to relive and/or change the events of their past.
The work, written by León and four other people over a period of three years, reflects on the passage of time and the way in which the past affects the present.
Beginning in May 2009, the play was staged at festivals in European cities – in Brussels (Belgium), in Salamanca (Spain), then Berlin (Germany), Turin (Italy) and Avignon (France) – before its Latin American premiere in León’s home town, Buenos Aires, in August. It was then shown at festivals in Graz, Austria, and Munich, Germany.
“The reaction to Yo en el Futuro has been very positive,” says 34-year-old León. “Audiences generally find watching it is very emotional and they are often moved to tears. I am very happy with the result.” Yo en el Futuro is the fifth play that he has written or co-written and then directed.
In 2009, León also co-directed a film for television. Created with film director Martín Rejtman, Entrenamiento elemental para actores (Elementary training for actors) portrays a theatre workshop for 10-year-old children run by a radical and rigorous drama teacher. It soon becomes apparent that the workshop is about far more than acting.
León, reflecting upon his mentorship year in 2002-2003, says: “The principal benefit for me from the mentorship was having the opportunity to meet a famous director, see how he worked and to step outside my element.”