El Espanto


In a remote village in Argentina, home-made cures replace traditional medicine. Every ailment is treated by neighbours except “El Espanto”, a rare disease that affects women and can only be cured with the mysterious abilities of a peculiar old man from the outskirts of town, whom no husband wants to see visiting their wife…

In this town, evils and antidotes are born, mythologies and their detractors appear. A strange micro-world populated by eccentric characters that spontaneously introduce us to comical and human situations combined with religious beliefs and esotericism.



Martin Benchimol and Pablo Aparo have formed a film directing duo for years. Both are graduates in Image and Sound Design from the University of Buenos Aires. Since 2008, they have both been directing advertising projects and music videos with their own production company Bunda. In 2012 they finished their first feature film, La gente del río, which premiered at DOK Leipzig 2012 and screened at numerous international festivals. Awarded at DOCSDF with an honourable mention for best Latin American documentary, it also won the jury’s mention for best documentary at the Latin American Film Festival of Flanders (Belgium) and it was nominated for best documentary 2013 at the Cine Tropical Awards.



  • IDFA , The Netherlands 2017. Best Mid Length Documentary
  • BAFICI, Argentina, 2017 – Best original soundtrack (ASA)
  • Festival Internacional de cine de Guadalajara, Mexico, 2017
  • 58th Krakovia film festival, Poland, 2017
  • 14th Zagreb Dox, Croatia, 2017


El Espanto | Edition 2018, Official Section - Panorama

El Espanto

Martin Benchimol, Pablo Aparo

Argentina (2017)



Language: Spanish


Q&A with the directors at the two sessions.