Hi, my name is Yeray López Portillo and I have been marching the hard and solitary lands of deep Spain for the past three years making a documentary about the Spanish sighthound, the Galgo.
We have always had a very hard relationship with animals in my country, Spain. Folklore, rituals and festivities have been using animals as a way to signal certain dates and have fun for a long time with the backing of the state. Bullfighting is just an example of it and a popular one, but there are many other animals who also suffer in silence our so-called sports and traditions. The Galgo is one of those cases. The Galgo been in tales and myths, by the side of kings and queens and in art history for centuries. It was a very special dog that only people of noble birth could have, but now it’s worth has changed and galgos are, after being used for the hunting season, killed in the thousands. Between 50.000 and 10.000 galgos are killed or abandoned during each hunting season in Spain.
A bit more than three years ago, I took a galgo puppy to Denmark, where I lived back then, and learned more about their drama, that was a turning point in my life that brought me back to Spain. I needed to tell the story of these dogs and help them be visible to a society that has failed to see what I consider a yearly genocide.
My film YO GALGO is an excuse to talk about human nature, about the secrecy with which certain traditions are kept, about the fear that some people opposing the hunting traditions feel in rural areas and about cruelty and policy making. I hope this documentary brings some transparency to how we manage land, resources and how we deal with animal welfare. My goal is also to create a platform on which stories like YO GALGO can be produced collaboratively, where artists that care about animals can connect with a community interested in making these stories happen. We have to remember that films like mine won’t find funds easily, they are not popular and televisions and other agents might not be willing to help. So, we, the people, need to create other ways to get together, produce and share what we feel important. That is why www.yogalgoproductions.com exists. - Yeray Lopez Portillo