Derby & Groma

A film by Kara Blake

Canada, Biographical Documentary/Artist, 2013
17 min, Super 16mm, Color/Black & White
Spanish with English subtitles

This film was screened as a part of the 2014 Cine Las Americas International Film Festival (CLAIFF17)

This short film preceded the screening of the feature Reinas (Majesty)


While taking a stroll in Buenos Aires, photo collector Pablo Cruz Aguirre came across an unusual gift. Blowing down the street was a collection of letters, postcards and photos depicting a performing duo named Derby and Groma. Desolina Merlino, alias Derby, was born 1891 of Italian descent. Samuel Salomón Gromatzky, alias Groma, was the son of Jewish immigrants in Argentina, born in 1895. The two performed acrobatic dance routines in theaters throughout Europe and Latin America in the late 1920’s. With the assistance of historians and collectors, the film paints a picture of Argentina’s cultural life in the early 20th century, a world from which few traces still exist. After premiering at Hot Docs in 2013, the film has continued to gain recognition at festivals like DOC NYC and the International Festival of Films on Art.

Regional Premiere

Print Source: Philtre Films,


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