LatinoBuzz: San Diego Latino Film Festival

Interviews
by Juan Caceres
March 13, 2013 1:00 PM
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IVAN MORA MANZAN – Dir. Sin Otoño, Sin Primavera

LatinoBuzz: Ecuador hasn't historically had the output of films like Mexico or Chile, yet your film represents a new wave of films after being the first to receive a grant from Ecuador's 'National Film Council' – did you ever feel you would have to conform to a more conventional style of story telling because of it?

Iván Mora Manzan: I think if Cinema is being born, it’s better to be born free. I wanted to make an honest film, and risky in it’s form. I wanted it’s time structure and it’s visual language to be the reflection of the state of mind of the characters. The time is managed playfully, emotionally. The sound is frenetic, subjective. The acting is naturalistic. I’m determined to continue doing the same kind of films, even though it’s not in tune with the mainstream of current Latin American cinema (contemplative/quiet/rural).

LatinoBuzz: 'Sin otoño, Sin primavera' took five years to raise enough money to shoot and given that there's been less than 40 films ever made in Ecuador, was there ever a moment you thought it was impossible, let me find something else to do with my life?

Ivan: I never thought it would be impossible, but it turned into something longer and harder as the film progressed. The last two years I worked in parallel to 'No Autumn, No Spring' with my wife in a documentary that mixes a “film essay” with a family portrait, and I found that this might be an easier option to narrative fiction. At Cartagena Film Festival I listened to Paul Schrader and I was impressed by his view about how post-capitalist cinema will be freer to express a personal view in a more similar way to the individual process of creating poetry or being a songwriter.

LatinoBuzz: You are a trained pianist, what's the greatest soundtrack and score you've ever heard?

Ivan: As a musician is difficult to choose only one soundtrack: 'Goodfellas', '24hour Party People', 'The Hours', 'In The Mood For Love'. I really like the work of contemporary composers such as Jon Brion, Carter Burwell, Alberto Iglesias. If I have to choose just one it would be the score of the film 'There Will be Blood', composed by Jonny Greenwood, by it’s harmonic and acoustic reinvention of widely used instruments in classical cinema: the strings and piano.

LatinoBuzz: Who influenced you the most in making this film?

Ivan: The biggest influence comes from the immediate surroundings: friends and neighborhood. In cinematic terms the film has many conscious influences: Fatih Akin, Won Kar Wai, Fassbinder and Buñuel. Last two especially in their creative philosophies. The film also references local artists such as the three great painters of my city: Rendón Seminario, Tábara and Velarde. Also to some Ecuadorian films like Ratas, Ratones Rateros (by Sebastián Cordero), and Prometeo Deportado (by Fernando Mieles). The film is filled with tributes to global artists of punk rock music. Anarchy runs trough it entirely and maybe that dissident feature is what most influences the film.

LatinoBuzz: What's your next project?

Ivan: We have finished the documentary “The Great-grandmother has Alzheimer’s” about the encounter between my grandmother with Alzheimer's and my baby daughter, two people without memory, one memory runs out while the other begins. This documentary has been exhibited in 14 countries from Latin America through public broadcasting channels. I’m starting to develop two new projects, one fiction and one documentary. The fiction project it’s being written by my wife and is going to be a portrait of the female world, and I will direct it. About the documentary I want to keep it in the line of my previous work: intimate documentaries like a “film essay”.

BRYAN RAMIREZ dir. Mission Park.

LatinoBuzz: You have an impressive cast, how important was it to have a Latino
ensemble when you wrote 'Mission Park'?

Bryan: Having a Latino ensemble cast was extremely important, because it’s
our story. Mission Park represents what I saw and could have faced
growing up. These guys exist, and are living proof of what the choices
you make in life can lead to.

LatinoBuzz: There's amazing African American and Latino talent coming out of Texas
right now – What did it mean to you to shoot in the city you called
Home? And why did you move back there as opposed to LA or NYC?

Bryan: San Antonio is my city man. I write about things I know, and or
interest me. Mission Park is an actual area on the South Side of San
Antonio and I wouldn’t want to film it anywhere else. I have been
producing and directing here for over 10 years now. We have a love for
one another, a brotherhood and work ethic that you don’t find in a lot
of places. No one on set is ever there for the sole reason of a
paycheck. I did do the whole LA thing though. I like the nightlife,
fancy lunches, and dinners, but at the end of the day, I love Texas. I
was born and raised here, and I feel as a Husband and Father that this
is the place I want to raise my family and build my shop.

LatinoBuzz: Jeremy RayValdez, JJ Soria, Walter Perez, Will Rothaar & Douglas
Spain... who is The Hulk, Hawkeye, Thor, Captain America or Iron Man?
GO!

Bryan: Jeremy is 'Hawkeye', he’s quick, sharp and witty. JJ is 'Thor', Big and masculine, but even a bigger heart when you get to know him. Walter is definitely 'Iron Man', smooth, tactful, and confident while at the same time caring about everyone around him. Will has to be 'Captain America', he’s strong where it counts and has those baby blues going for him. Doug is 'Nick Fury', keeps us in line and under control, but once that eye patch comes off and those margaritas start flowing… Watch out!

LatinoBuzz: Which filmmakers influenced you growing up and in making 'Mission
Park'?

Bryan: Martin Scorsese and the Scott Brothers have always impacted me. Their
unique style and ability to take you into a world unbeknownst to you
is beautiful, and specifically beautiful when it isn’t always supposed
to be. They introduce us to people and places and then give us the
emotions we feel as we watch their films.

Watch the Trailer for Mission Park: http://www.missionparkfilm.com/en/trailer

LatinoBuzz: Pick a novel set in Texas that you would love to direct as a movie.
Bryan: The Devils Odd’s by Milton T. Burton

LatinoBuzz: What's the next project?
Bryan: I just finished writing a psychological thriller titled For Jane! It’s
about the lead singer of a rising band who loves, and is loved by
everyone around him. With a troubled past and failing family, his
inner demons take over when he least expects it.

For more on Bryan check: http://www.irezproductions.com/

Written by Juan Caceres and Vanessa Erazo, LatinoBuzz is a weekly feature on SydneysBuzz that highlights Latino indie talent and upcoming trends in Latino film with the specific objective of presenting a broad range of Latino voices. Follow @LatinoBuzz on twitter and www.facebook.com/latinobuzz


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