Agua fría de mar

  • 80'
  • Costa Rica
  • 2010

A young and wealthy Costa Rican couple, Rodrigo (30) and Mariana (21), are looking in the middle of a night for shelter by the Pacific Ocean coast where they are spending their New Year’s vacation. In the dark, they find seven-year-old Karina, who has run away. Karina was camping with her parents − and many other families − on the beach by a nature reserve. The couple decides to take a look next morning. When they wake up, the girl has gone.

The Costa Rican filmmaker Fábrega, who had previously made the successful short film Cuilos, chose an apparent paradise for her debut film. Yet it is not easy to realise an independent feature film so far from the inhabited worlds and the necessary technical facilities. However, all that trouble did create an atmospheric, subtle and original film, a chronicle of occasionally minor issues that are difficult to describe but which betray her great control over all aspects of the film. It all comes down to the position of two women of different ages, from different social backgrounds, with very different desires and fears. Their lives cross briefly when they are both isolated and seemed imprisoned in surroundings that are very threatening. The title refers to the cold stream of water which causes many poisonous sea snakes in the ocean to head for the beach.

Paz Fábrega
World premiere
Countries of production
Costa Rica, France, Spain, Netherlands, Mexico
Production Year
Festival Edition
IFFR 2010
International title
Cold Water of the Sea
Spanish, English
Paz Fábrega, Jean des Forêts, Fernanda del Nido, Els Vandevorst
Production Companies
Temporal Films, Les Films du requin, Tic Tac Producciones, Isabella Films
Films Boutique
Paz Fábrega
María Secco
Nathalie Alonso Casale
Production Design
Marielos Cordero, Dominique Ratton Perez
Sound Design
Fernando Soldevilla, Séverin Favriau, Déborah Stauffer
Lil Quesada Morúa, Montserrat Fernández, Luis Carlos Bogantes