La Chana
La Chana

La Chana

La Chana, a hugely successful flamenco dancer, suddenly vanished from the public
eye at the height of her fame. As she prepares for one final comeback performance, she retraces the highs and lows of her career and why it came to such an abrupt end. An intimate portrait of a dynamic, eccentric woman who elevated flamenco to a higher art form.


“I was born to dance. I would lay awake all night long, repeating the rhythms in my head
until they became a part of me” -La Chana

In the 1960s and 1970s, self-taught Gypsy dancer, Antonia Santiago Amador, known as La Chana, was one of the biggest stars in the flamenco world, surprising audiences worldwide with her innovative style and use of rhythm. Peter Sellers, with whom she features in The Bobo (1967), invited her to Hollywood. Instead, at the peak of her career, she suddenly disappeared from the scene.

LA CHANA is a feature documentary that brings us under the skin and into the mind of La Chana as she returns to the stage to give a final seated performance after a break of two decades. Along the way, La Chana reveals the secret behind her disappearance: for 18 years she was the victim of domestic abuse at the hands of her first husband.

In this dramatic story about the process and power of creation, about aging, perseverance
and re-invention, La Chana crystallizes the inevitable clashes between her life’s extremes and contradictions; between the artist on stage and the woman behind the scenes.

About the film

  • Type: Documentary
  • International Premiere Date: November 17, 2016, IDFA
  • Length: 82 min.
  • Language: Spanish
  • Original Title: La Chana
  • International Title: La Chana
  • Production Year: 2016
  • Production Countries: Iceland, United States, Spain
  • IMDB: La Chana
  • Website:
  • Icelandic Film Centre Grant: Yes
  • Color: Yes
  • Screening format and subtitles: DCP, English subtitles


Company Credits


  • Dock of the Bay Film Festival, San Sebastian, 2018
  • Budapest International Documentary Festival, 2018
  • Flamenco Biennale, Netherlands, 2017
  • DocPoint Helsinki, 2017
  • DocPoint Tallinn, 2017
  • Tempo Documentary Film Festival, 2017
  • Thessaloniki Documentary Festival, 2017
  • Assen International Film Festival, 2017
  • Women & Film, 2017
  • Vera Film Festival, 2017
  • Málaga Film Festival, 2017
  • Hot Docs, Toronto, 2017
  • Dok.Fest Munich, 2017
  • Ambulante, 2017
  • Europe on Screen, 2017
  • Le Voci dell’Inchiesta, 2017 - Award: Audience Award.
  • Beldocs, 2017
  • DocAviv, 2017
  • Cinédoc Tbilisi, 2017
  • TRT Documentary Days, 2017
  • Docs Against Gravity, 2017 - Award: Chopin's Nose Award for Best Documentary.
  • Amsterdam Spanish Film Festival, 2017
  • Docs Barcelona, 2017
  • Crossing Europe, 2017
  • Sheffield Doc/Fest, 2017
  • AFI Docs, 2017
  • In-Edit Brasil, 2017
  • Maine International Film Festival, 2017
  • Best of Hot Docs Vancouver, 2017
  • Ciclo de Flamenco y Cine Sevilla, 2017
  • Curacao Rotterdam International Film Festival, 2017
  • New Zealand International Film Festival, 2017
  • Fünf Seen Film Festival, 2017
  • Cerdanya Film Festival, 2017 - Award: Special Mention.
  • See the Sound, 2017
  • IDFA, 2016 - Award: Audience Award.
  • DOK Leipzig, 2016

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