Shooting of the film "Die große Reise des Akkordeons"
„Die große Reise des Akkordeons" is a cross cultural film from Rey Sagbini (Columbia) and Andrew Tucker(England). For the second time the film makers came to the place of the accordions origin: Trossingen, Germany.
Germany and Colombia seem to have a special relationship due to the accordion and the viewer will see why. According to a legend a ship from Germany sunk and the shipment of Hohner accordions onboard were washed ashore upon the Colombian coast.
The main character of the film is the Colombian Manuel Vega, who dreams of winning the big Vallenato Festival in Colombia. Vallenato is the most popular style of music founded many years ago in Colombia.
The film depicts the odyssey of the accordions from Trossingen to Colombia and Manuel Vegas journey from Colombia to Trossingen, Germany. This film is a “must see” for accordion players and accordion music fans alike.
The Big Journey of the Accordion
(El Gran Viaje del Acordeón)
Genre: Documentary Film
Running Time: 90 minutes
Format: Full High Definition
Directed by: Rey Sagbini, Andrew Simon Tucker
"The Big Journey of the Accordion" tells the story of Manuel Vega, one of Colombia's best accordion players. Despite his success at accordion festivals around the Americas, he's never won the most important accordion competition of them all: the "Festival de la Leyenda Vallenata" in Colombia. Every year a new Vallenato king is crowned. The winner will not only become famous throughout Latin America, but will receive a record deal. Without succeeding, Manuel Vega will never manage to free himself and his family from the rough life in one of Cartagena's poorest Favelas. After no less than 17 attempts at the festival - always coming in second and third- Manuel will compete one last time. And this last attempt will be different: He decides to go on a journey to the roots of the Vallenato Music to get his instrument "blessed" by the representatives of the three cultures which influenced this style. The first leg of his journey will lead him to the native Colombian Wayuu.
In the 1920s a ship laden with accordions made its way from Germany to Argentina. But a damaged engine forced the ship to land on the Caribbean coast of Colombia. The accordions, a batch of newly invented Hohner Corona IIIs, were washed ashore. The Wayuus were the first to discover these strange devices. A new style would be born, fusing the indigenous music played with the guacharaca and the German accordion.
His second leg will bring him to the Afro-Colombians, who introduced the tambor, the drum, to this newly emerging style. For the Afro-Colombians the accordion was a way to emancipate themselves from their former masters. Together with the drum, the accordion was played at important rituals, such as funerals and weddings.
On his final leg Manuel will travel to the south of Germany where nearly 100 years ago the Corona III accordion was invented. In 2009 at the "Festival de la Leyenda Vallenata" the international sales manager of Hohner saw Manuel Vega play. He was so impressed by his artistic interpretation of the Vallenato music he decided to invite him to play with the Hohner Accordion Orchestra and see first-hand where his accordion originated.
But will Manuel's travels be enough for his final attempt to win the festival?
The film will be shot using a combination of cinema verite style and highly aesthetic landscape shots. Only natural lighting conditions will be used and exploited, creating a contrasting colour palette for Germany (cool, blue tones) and Colombia (warm, ochre tones). The documentary will be shot with two cameras, creating a direct feel, allowing for a smooth and dynamic editing style.