INTERVIEW WITH UNOFEX AWARDS WINNER - SANDRO VENTURA MANTILLA
"Papá X Tres" written and directed by Sandro Ventura, premiered in 2019 and narrates the experiences of a young divorced father, who must take care of his three young children in the midst of a personal and work crisis. Originally, the film is based on the director's personal experiences and stars Juan Carlos Rey De Castro and Alicia Mercado with the little ones Diego Muller, Mia Owens, Facundo Vásquez of Velasco. This year, Papá X Tres won the UNOFEX International film Awards 2020 in the category "Best Comedy Feature Film" and we were interested behind the film maker's thoughts.
In this UNOFEX interview, the film director Sandro Ventura tells us how he gets involved in film, the important qualities of today's film directors, his thoughts about the outbreak of Covid-19 and how it has impacted the film industry.
Tell us about your background.
I studied film in the late 80s. I did show business journalism and film criticism in the 90s and in 2006 I began my film career with the comedy Talk Show. It is worth mentioning that in those years only between 2 and 8 Peruvian films were released a year in Peru. In 2011 I founded Big Bang Films, my production company with some friends, which we have already made more than 15 films in these almost 10 years. One of the most recent is Three Kids and a Dad.
How did you get involved in film?
I have always been in love with cinema. I have been an inveterate movie buff since I can remember and consume all kinds of movies. Movies like City Lights, Bringing Up Baby, His Girl Friday, The Apartament, Psycho, Vertigo, Manhattan, Annie Hall, Raiders of the Lost Ark, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Almost Famous, etc. made me fall in love and still fall in love with the cinema. At the same time, I discover something else in being a filmmaker. Writing screenplays, being on set and editing a movie are today a job, but also a passion that I would not change for anything.
Congratulations for winning the UNOFEX International Film Awards 2020! Are there any persons you want to say, ‘thank you’?
To many people ... First to my family from Big Bang Films ... To Adolfo Aguilar, my partner, to Israel Carmen, my producer, for always being there ... To the wonderful production, technical and artistic team of Three Kids and a Dad, especially to Omar Quezada, director of photography, who from the beginning understood my proposal, which he captured in his incredible cinematography ... To all the actors for embracing this story so personal to me, led by Juan Carlos Rey De Castro, who gave all his heart to Rafael ... To my parents and my brothers for always supporting my crazy things, to my girlfriend Malú for always being with me loving and taking care of me and to my children, the true "Three Kids ...", who not only inspired the film but were present in it. Macarena as executive producer and Sandro and Alain composing the beautiful music of the film. Thanks to everyone who supported me on this movie.
How long did it take to research and make Papa X Tres?
It was about a year and a half writing the script. It was the most difficult stage, as the story is inspired by events in my life. I have never been faced with writing something so personal. In other words, one usually writes based on experiences or things that one observes ... However, this script recounted part of my life and fictionalizing it was the real challenge ...
What was your greatest experience as a filmmaker?
That each film creates a very particular family ... We try to achieve that and that making a film is an unforgettable experience ...
What, in your opinion, is the most important quality in a Film Director?
I have always thought and defended that the true art of cinema is not the story you tell… The important thing is how you tell... That is why I admire directors who have a particular style, who use all the weapons of cinematographic language to capture these into the screen ... Nobody says that you have to invent something, but they do allow yourself to be influenced and try in some way and honestly to raise your style whatever the story you tell ...
What is the role of film festivals?
I believe that promoting films from all over the world, which are usually far from us as spectators ... is discovering filmmakers from other countries ... Today the festivals are not face-to-face, but I hope that this will soon return, as it is also a way of knowing people, directors, moviegoers who also love cinema ...
Who are your favorite directors?
Charles Chaplin, Alfred Hitchcock, Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen, Steven Spielberg, Billy Wilder, John Ford, Howard Hawks… There are so many… Lately I'm very interested in Edgar Wright and Dennis Villeneuve…
Let's discuss the current situation. How does the outbreak of Covid-19 affect your work as a filmmaker?
The quarantine took us by surprise ... In fact, I was filming my new movie Mundo Gordo when it happened ... So far we have not been able to resume filming ... Also, our movie Don't Tell Me Spinster 2 should have been released on April 2 and the release is still pending ... It is an absolutely surreal situation ... We only have to survive this year and practically start from scratch ... In Peru there is practically no support or incentives for the film industry and also we have excessive taxes ... If to this we add corrupt governments and zero interest in culture and education, things seem to be adverse ... Still we have always managed to survive ... This should not be the exception ...
What is your next film?
Mundo Gordo (Fat World), a comedy about what it is like to live with overweight in a society created to be thin and fit... Then I start a project that was born in these last months of confinement ... It was titled A Quarantined Divorce, and it is another love comedy...
What advice do you have to young and new coming filmmakers?
Study ... Watch a lot of movies ... If you like a movie, find out who the director is, who are his influences and find out more about them ... Before I thought it was just to grab the camera and film, today everyone have a camera in their pocket, because it is important to study and know how to take advantage of all the resources that cinematographic language offers ...
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