Heart of the Factory / Corazón de Fábrica

Argentina 2008 - 120' - English subtitles


The film looks at the life of a group of workers, men and women, inhabitants of the Argentinean Patagonia. These workers start a fight to stop the deaths and accidents that happen in the factory where they work. They live complex and dangerous conflicts and they are taking more and more commitment, something many of them had never imagined could happen.

These strong episodes are affecting their perception of the reality, of the world. No one now can see himself or herself like the human he or she used to be. Something broke, something has changed and can not return to the original place.

In a poor country looted by its own governments and businessmen, the workers of Zanon Ceramic take the factory in their own hands when the owner closes it. They start to produce ceramics again, but without bosses.

Now, they feel free. They’ve found in their work a way to grow humanly. But at the same time, they have to assume a series of responsibilities and challenges. Usually, this provokes serious arguments among them or with themselves. 

During that process, the workers had to study and to overcome themselves in order to solve all the problems linked to the areas of production. Through the democratic assembly, they found a way to support their organisation and learn how to take their own decisions in the management. 

In a country devastated by an economic debacle, they created two hundred new jobs. Now they are 470 people working in the factory. 

Together with 5,000 Neuquen’s inhabitants who support them, workers have resisted four attempts of evictions. 

They do not consider themselves as the new owners of the ceramic factory: on the contrary, they consider the Neuquén community as the only owner. And they give back in donations to the most needed sectors the surplus that the factory produces.

This is the only factory in the world where the workers' management (without bosses) has been operating for more than seven years. This is a permanent challenge where every day they have to fight against a political and economic system that tries to boycott them. 

Their biggest obstacle though does not come from the outside. It is about their own fears inculcated by this society. Although many of them do not know it, if they win the battle in their consciences they will open the door to build a completely different world.


Directed and Produced by: Virna Molina and Ernesto Ardito

Research, Script, Camera, Editing: Virna Molina and Ernesto Ardito

Original Music by: Virna Molina and Ernesto Ardito / Sound Designer: Virna Molina and Ernesto Ardito

Sound Recordist: Guillermo Kohen / Production Assistant: Laura Heredia and Guillermo Kohen

WITH THE FINANCIAL SUPPORT OF: Jan Vrijman Fund - IDFA - International Documentary Festival of Amsterdam (Holland). Heart of the Factory was awarded with the Grant for Production an Postproduction/

Alter-cine Fondation (Canada). Heart of the Factory was awarded with the annual grant of the fund.

Virna Molina, Ernesto Ardito and their family.


-First Kodak Award to Best Latin American Project 

Mexico City International Contemporary Film Festival (FICCO-Cinemex) - México (February 2009).

-Best Documentary Film in the competition “Otras Miradas” organizated by Latin American Council of Social Sciences (CLACSO). 

-Special Jury Award

DOCS DF - International Documentary Film Festival of México.

-Special Jury Award

Catalunya Latinamerican Film Festival (Spain).

-Best Documentary Film

Cancun International Film Festival, Mexico 2009.

-Best Documentary Film

“Ojo al Sancocho” International Festival of Alternative and Community films, Colombia.

-First Prize “The discovery of a young argentine cinema”.

Festival La Sudestada, Paris, Francia, 2010.

-Winner of Jan Vrijman Fund Grant

International Documentary Film Festival of Amsterdam (IDFA)

-Winner of Alter Cinè Fund Grant, 

Montreal, Canada.


BAFICI - Buenos Aires International Independent Film Festival./Reykjavik Shorts&Docs Film Festival/ 1001 International Documentary Film Festival /Valdivia International Film Festival /Festival de Biarritz. 

Trieste Latinamerican Film Festival / -International Documentary Festival of Amsterdam (IDFA) /La Habana International Festival of the New Latin American Cinema/ Mexico City International Contemporary Film Festival /Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival/San Diego Latino Film Festival/Latin American Film Festival of Catalunia /African, Asian and Latin American Film Festival of Milan/International Documentary Festival of Ecuador/Docudays - Beirut International Documentary Film Festival/Perspektive - Human Rights Film Festival of Nuremberg/Tri Continental Film Festival/DOCS DF International Documentary Film Festival of México/Seoul Human Rights Film Festival .


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