A reference for women in film
In 35 years, the Goya Awards had never recognized a female sound mixer. In 2023, history was made.
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The second, and not the third, may also be the charm. Yasmina Praderas Ramírez can definitely testify to that, as she recently lifted the highest award of Spanish cinema for Best Sound along with Aitor Berenguer and Fabiola Ordoyo, for their work on the film As Bestas.
In Rodrigo Sorogoyen’s award-winning film, which portrays the tragic story of a French couple in a rural area of Galicia (northwestern Spain), Berenguer played his role in the first phase of sound production, more specifically in capturing dialogue on the set.
Ordoyo, meanwhile, worked on post-production, dialogue editing and making decisions about ambient sound and the rest of the sound effects.
“All these blocks are more or less agreed upon, pre-worked and finally go to the mixing sessions, which is what I do,” explained Praderas Ramírez in conversation with AL DÍA.
Her task involved a lot of concentration and detail when determining at what point or at what level, or what kind of textures are left in the environments.
“There is another delicate part which is the dialogue treatment. As it is a very non-theatrical film and the realism has to be evident, this required work not so much at an intense level of sound load, but at a level of concentration and sensitivity,” she said from Barcelona, where she has lived for two decades.
At the prestigious Goya Awards ceremony, held in February in Seville, Praderas arrived cautiously. It was not the first time she stepped on the red carpet to hear her name among the nominees. In 2020, she had already experienced that indescribable and uncomfortable sensation of nerves, uncertainty and anxiety, waiting to see if her role in the production A quien hierro mata would finally lead her to win a ‘cabezón’.
“This year I was relaxed. You never know until the moment they take the envelope out if you are going to win or not. This year there was a very high level, there were films competing that had a very cool job,” she said.
“I recognize that it excites, it makes me proud, although what I am left with, if it can be valued in the long term, is the possibility of being a reference, because I believe that women are necessary, and that little by little women in this profession become more visible,” she added.
It is not a road of roses
From her higher studies in film, her foray into production, live sound, dialogue editing, dubbing recording and dubbing sound mixing, Praderas never imagined she would etch her name in the history of Spanish cinema. However, to get where she is, she had to face challenges and social paradigms, just like many women in different positions in other industries beyond film.
“It seems like you have to prove twice as much to get yourself valued. I think it’s a cultural and customary issue. You’re in a movie theater and people there are not used to a woman having that position of responsibility. In some cases, from the outset, it gives the feeling that it is difficult to assert yourself, or that you have to be very, very, very, very, very productive, or very, very, very, very responsible,” she said.
Despite the “outward-facing situations that have cost and continue to cost,” the sound mixer admitted to feeling fortunate to belong to an equal and egalitarian team at entertainment provider Deluxe. “I love my craft, I enjoy it very much. Every film is a different world, sound is invisible, it’s ambiguous, and I feel comfortable striving and learning, and what’s left for me is to keep enjoying it,” she ended.