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Building a Wolfpack on-screen and off-screen

Building a Wolfpack on-screen and off-screen

“What is really remarkable about Los Lobos is that it manages to maintain a difficult topic in a lighthearted way. The whole film is full of symbolism and silence, and they speak much louder than thousand words”.

Carlos Marroquín, Cinemaissí's Artistic Director
Los Lobos_DP-Octavio_Arauz_05-LowRes (1)

Interview with Samuel Kishi, director, and Martha Reyes, leading actress, from the film Los Lobos.

Roots of the wolfpack

The film Los Lobos is a semi-autobiographical film based on Samuel Kishi’s childhood
memories. When Kishi was a child, they moved to Santana California from Mexico
trying to get a better life.

In the beginning of the writing process Los Lobos, Kishi based the story in one particular memory about him, his mother and his little brother. His mother rented an apartment in a bad neighborhood and she had to leave them alone in the apartment to get a job and to go to work. However, she recorded English lessons, stories and rules of the house in a little cassette recorder for her children to listen to while she was away. “If you miss me, please, press play so you can hear me” she used to say. Kishi and his brother started to build an imaginary world with their mom’s recorder. This was a little scene Kishi wanted to show in his film.

During the investigation process before filming, Kishi went back to Santana California
with his family and they started to investigate together and with the local community
as well. What he found out was that the story of his family was the story of a lot of migrants.
However, Kishi says he did not want to only talk about immigration, for him it was important that Los Lobos would also be a coming-of-age film. Max, the older brother, starts to grow up as the story of the wolfpack goes on. He begins to understand the reasons of his mother and realizes who his father was. It is these actions that force Max to grow up. Kishi’s intention with the film and the storyline was to make the story universal.
What is really remarkable about Los Lobos is that it manages to maintain a difficult topic in a lighthearted way. The whole film is full of symbolism and silence, and they speak  much louder than  thousand  words.” Carlos Marroquín, Artistic  Director of Cinemaissí

Getting real with the characters

Martha Reyes was first invited to make a workshop for the kids who wanted to be casted in the film.  When Reyes and Kishi first started to talk about the film, Kishi said he would not cast her in the role of the mother because Reyes was so young. During the workshop Reyes asked Kishi to make a demo reel for her, a visual curriculum of her previous roles. When he was editing it, he saw her talent and said that she should be the mother.

Shortly after that Reyes started to train for the role. When she read the part for the first time, she realized that the mother was a cliché. The mother seemed too perfect. “I told Samuel, we need to do a real character, a real mom with real problems aboutbeing alone with her kids in a new country” Reyes sums it up.

In order to get closer to the character, they interviewed Kishi’s mother. During the writing process the focus was on the kids but when they interviewed Kishi’s mother the focus really shifted towards Reyes’ character as well. Kishi’s mother unfolded her memories of the past and told them her reflections about her experience as a migrant mom. She used to play tricks on Kishi and his brother with stories and games so they wouldn’t have to face the hard reality. “We did miss our mom when she was at work, but my mom’s story wasn’t equivalent to ours because  she was sensitive and intelligent in protecting us” Samuel explains.

Something everyone writing the film agreed on, that had to be put to the storyline was: what do moms do when we don’t watch? In the film sometimes Lucia, the mother, also wants to play and be a child. It is possible to the children to escape the reality through the games but the mother can not.

Finding Max and Leo

The team did a lot of casting with children in the area of Calisco and in Mexico City. Finally, six kids were chosen for a workshop, three kids trained for the role of each brother. For the next two months the kids were taught e.g. improvisation and camera rules, and by the end of this workshop they chose the two kids who would play the brothers in the film. After this, the cast moved on to another workshop with a famous acting coach,  Fatima Toledo. Unfortunately, during this time the child who was supposed to play the little brother didn’t want to continue with the project. Kishi says that the first rule working with actors is that everyone must be honest, and so the child left the project but now they were left without an actor for the role of the little brother.

Leo, the little brother we now see in the film, did send a casting video but everyone taught he was too young – he looked so small, almost like a baby. Despite being rejected after the first try, Leo was sometimes around in the rehearsals with his mother. One day Reyes was playing with Leo and found out that he wasn’t a baby, he was actually already five-years-old. When the role for the little brother became open, they offered the role to Leo who gladly accepted it. It didn’t take long when everyone realized that it should have been Leo all the time. “The first rehearsal Leo attended was magical”, as Kishi and Reyes put it, “all the lines and the jokes, the love between the characters, it all felt real.”

Next step in the process was that Reyes, Max and Leo moved in to live together. They did things like any normal family would do – they went to buy groceries, paid their rent and played together. Kishi and Reyes want to give a huge thanks to the parents of Max and Leo for trusting them with this project. “They are part of the wolfpack” Kishi says.

Interview:
Carlos Marroquín, artistic director of Cinemaissí
Text:
Ella Korhonen, Press Assistant of Cienmaissí

 

You can watch the film online throughout the festival 21.-25.10.2020

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Ancestors Practices and Climate Change: Interview with Director

Ancestors Practices and Climate Change: Interview with Director

“After seeing the reality that a lot of indigenous communities live, it pushed us to have a compromise to produce this type of social cinema, where the community can see themselves and feel proud of wearing their traditional outfits and hear their language on a big screen”.

Diego Sarmiento, Director, 'Las Sembradoras de Vida' (Peru, 2019)

“Everything you ask her, she will give to you”.

– Eliana García

It is often heard that women are the most affected by the impact of climate change globally. Do you know the reason why this statement is given? According to statistics provided by the international organizations, 80% of the people who are displaced or affected by this natural phenomenon are women who are caregivers and food providers. 

The film Mothers of the Land directed by Diego and Alvaro Sarmiento, who are two brothers from HDPeru production, was released in 2019, in Peru. It develops the story of five women farmers from the Andes who fight to conserve their sowing affected by extreme climate changes by using traditional and modern methods. 

Both filmmakers from Quechua descent studied Media Production and Documentary Filmmaking. Thirteen years ago, they started producing after visiting their parents’ home located  in the center of Peru, where they realized that their roots were being threatened by transnational companies (mining) which was affecting the society, its economy, and environment.

HDPeru aims to produce topics about native people’s rights and the preservation of the environment in the Andes and Amazon in Peru.

With the help of technology, I was able to travel across the Atlantic Ocean and interview Diego. He was very relaxed, confident, and proudly talking about their work. 

“After seeing the reality that a lot of indigenous communities live, it pushed us to have a compromise to produce this type of  social cinema, where the  community can see themselves and feel proud of wearing their traditional outfits and hear their language on a big screen”. 

Actually, the Quechua language is being revalued in the country. At the university of Cusco it’s a mandatory course. “I think this is good since there is still a lot of discrimination that needs to be stopped” said, Diego. 

Mothers of the Land, which has a duration of 74 minutes, is their second feature production. It has been presented in several countries as well as at the  69 Berlin Film Festival. In addition, it also has won awards such as Best Documentary in the 25 Dreamspeakers Indigenous Film Festival in Canada, 2019. The film has been selected for Cinemaissí Latin American Film Festival in Finland.

Beside being presented at several film festivals, HDPeru’s goal is to distribute their documentaries in the communities, at schools, universities and others. It is giving back something to the community. 

During my conversation with Diego, he mentioned that the production of the documentary took four years since it was necessary to film from the sowing to the harvesting in separate parts. He also expressed that choosing the protagonist occurred two ways: knowing them from previous filming, for example, Sonia; or with the help of organizations that work with these women, for instance, the Potatoes Park.

The five protagonists Braulia Puma, Brizaida Sicus, Eliana García, Justa Quispe, and Sonia Mamani are from different areas. As a matter of fact, what they have in common are: 

-Believe that the Mother Land is woman; therefore, they practice rituals to give her thanks.

-Committed as hard-working who go daily to the field to check their sowing and apply their ancestral knowledge to combat plagues and extreme change of weather. For example, Brizaida’s potato plants have worms, so she applies ashes to combat them. 

Sonia mentioned that the lunar timing is not anymore precise like before. She remembered that her grandmother said: “when a lot of fishes appeared, it meant that  there would be a good harvest, and if there weren’t fishe it meant that a famine would come, but now you can’t know because there are never any fishes”.

Eliana who is an anthropologist combines her studies and her ancestral knowledge to guarantee a good corn harvest. She is devoted to collecting different types of seed because she likes to experiment even though it is a long process. The variety of corn also helps to have less plagues. 

The intertwined color of the women’s clothes, hat, and cloth they used as bags, plus the amazing scene of landscape, mountains, lakes, and valley mixed with the traditional music, make the movie flow smoothly. 

“We need to revalue the agriculture works, so if you have the opportunity to buy direct from the farmers do it. We are visitors of the land, not its owner”, manifested Diego. 

Shirlene Green Newball, Journalist-Producer, writer of Women Wheel blog.

 

Cinemaissí is committed to the true representation of indigenous communities, through indigenous-made film. You can watch the film throughout the festival 21.-25.10.2020

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Artistic Director’s message

Artistic Director’s message

We present you 10 amazing films that will make you dream, laugh, cry and most importantly,  they will give you a food for thought while enjoying some of the best cinema that our continent has to offer.

Carlos Marroquin, Artistic Director
Cinemaissí Artistic Director 2020

Cinemaissí turns 15. Looking back, we contemplate a long list of films, friends, happiness, hard times and challenges. From where we are, the look is beautiful.

Yet, no one was prepared for what was coming in 2020 and what it would mean for film festivals around the world. It was challenging, but we knew we would return this year. 

Cinemaissí 2020 will be mainly an online festival, and our presence will be strong and steady. If our selection had to be cut in the numbers, we definitely would not be short of quality. We present you 10 amazing films that will make you dream, laugh, cry and most importantly,  they will give you a food for thought while enjoying some of the best cinema that our continent has to offer.

Our opening film, Mexican Los Lobos offers a fresh look to immigration, observed through the beautiful eyes of the most innocent ones. The film exposes how the struggles of searching for a better life are overcome by clinging to hope and the ones you love.

On the other hand, La Llorona from Guatemala, is an original take on social drama, mixed with hints of the supernatural, as it takes us inside the lives of the oligarchy thinking their sins can be forgiven, only to realize there are forces you cannot escape from.

We will question gender and the image of masculinity, following a group of rappers in the Chilean film Piola and the struggles of a fallen Uruguayan bodybuilder in the documentary The Champion of the World. We will also examine, for the first time in our festival, the complex theme of intersexuality in the powerful Venezuelan film Being Impossible.

Another of this year’s gems is Miriam Miente, from Dominican Republic, a sweet tale of a girl preparing for her “Quinceañera” party. This film, along with Brasilian short film Complexos  will remind us that In Latin America, the terms ‘classism’ and ‘racism’ are tightly intertwined. Deepening this year’s themes through Cinema in Conversation, in collaboration with the Anti-Racism Media Activism Alliance (ARMA Alliance), we will reflect on Latin American racism in films and how to turn lived experiences into anti-racism action.

Following the sweet line, Brazilian Pacarrete is a tale of a fearless old bat who only wants to dance around on her ballet tutu, even when no one wants to see her.

Complementing our selection are two more documentaries. Mothers of the Land opens up the challenges of climate change in the future of agriculture and the powerful Colombia in My Arms, an incredibly honest look at Colombia’s much celebrated peace agreement running into chaos as different perspectives talk about sides, morals and social justice. The directors will join for a Cinema in Conversation in collaboration with Maailman Kuvalehti that will open the discussion about responsible journalism and film-making. 

So you see, Corona took us by storm, but Latin America does not stop. We continue facing old and new challenges. Bring it on, give us another 15 years. As Latin America keeps on going, so will we.

Carlos Marroquin, Artistic Director, Cinemaissí 2020

Cinemaissí täyttää 15 vuotta. Kun katsomme taakse, mietimme pitkää elokuvien listaa, ystäviä, onnellisuutta, vaikeita aikoja ja haasteita. Täältä katsottuna näky on kaunis. 

Silti kukaan ei ollut valmis siihen, mitä 2020 toisi mukanaan ja mitä se merkitsisi elokuvafestivaaleille ympäri maailmaa. Haasteista huolimatta tiesimme, että palaisimme tänäkin vuonna. 

Cinemaissí 2020 on pääasiassa virtuaalinen festivaali, vahva ja vakaa. Vaikka elokuvaohjelmiston laajuudesta pitikin tinkiä niin laadusta suinkaan ei. Esittelemme teille 10 upeaa elokuvaa, jotka saavat teidät unelmoimaan, nauramaan, itkemään ja ennen kaikkea, ne pistävät ajattelemaan samalla, kun nautitte maanosamme parhaasta elokuvataiteesta.

Avajaiselokuvamme, meksikolainen Los Lobos tarjoaa raikkaan katsauksen maahanmuuttoon, kaikkein viattomimpien silmillä tarkasteltuna. Elokuva paljastaa, kuinka parempaa elämää etsiessä kohdatut kamppailut voi ylittää tukeutumalla toivoon ja lähimmäisiin. 

Guatemalalainen La Llorona on omaleimainen sosiaalinen draama, jossa yhdistellään kauhun ja yliluonnollisen elementtejä. Se johdattaa oligarkkien elämään, jotka kuvittelevat, että heidän syntinsä ovat anteeksiannettavissa, vain ymmärtääkseen että on olemassa voimia, joilta ei voi paeta.

Toinen tämän vuoden helmi on Miriam Miente Dominikaanisesta Tasavallasta. Suloinen tarina tytöstä, joka valmistautuu Quinceañera-juhlaansa, muistuttaa miten Latinalaisessa Amerikassa rasismi ja luokka-ajattelu ovat tiukasti yhteydessä toisiinsa. Syvennymme tämän vuoden teemaan Cinema in Conversation -paneelikeskustelussa yhdessä ARMA Alliancen (Anti-Racism Media Activism Alliance). Pohdimme latinalaisamerikkalaista rasismia elokuvissa, ja sitä, miten eletyt kokemukset muovataan antirasistiseksi toiminnaksi. 

Jatkaen suloisella linjalla, brasilialainen Pacarrete on tarina pelottomasta vanhasta huuhkajasta, joka tahtoo vain tanssia ympäriinsä balettitutu yllään, vaikka kukaan ei halua nähdä häntä.

Ohjelmaamme täydentävät kaksi muuta dokumenttia. Mothers of the Land avaa ilmastonmuutoksen haasteita maanviljelyn tulevaisuuden kannalta, ja vaikuttava Colombia in My Arms on hämmästyttävän rehellinen näkökulma Kolumbian juhlittuun rauhansopimukseen, joka päätyy kaaokseen kun eri perspektiivit puhuvat puolijaoista, moraalista ja sosiaalisesta oikeudenmukaisuudesta. Elokuvan ohjaajat liittyvät Cinema in Conversation -paneeliin yhteistyössä Maailman Kuvanlehden kanssa, jossa avataan keskustelu vastuullisesta journalismista ja elokuvatuotannosta.

Kuten huomaatte, korona yllätti meidät, mutta Latinalainen Amerikka ei pysähdy. Jatkamme vanhojen ja uusien haasteiden kohtaamista. Antakaa tulla, antakaa meille toiset 15 vuotta. Niin kuin Latinalainen Amerikka jatkaa, niin jatkamme mekin. 

Carlos Marroquín, Taiteellinen johtaja, Cinemaissí 2020

Cinemaissi cumple 15 años. En retrospectiva, contemplamos una larga lista de películas, amigos, felicidad, momentos difíciles, y retos. Desde donde estamos, la vista es hermosa.

Aun así, nadie estaba preparado para lo que se venía en 2020 y lo que significaría para los festivales de cine alrededor del mundo. Fue un reto, pero sabíamos que este año íbamos a volver.

Cinemaissi 2020 será principalmente un festival en línea, y nuestra presencia será fuerte y firme. Si bien nuestra selección tuvo que ser reducida en cantidad, definitivamente no será corta de calidad. Les presentamos 10 películas maravillosas, que los harán soñar, reír, llorar, y -lo más importante- los llevaran a reflexionar mientras disfrutan parte del mejor cine que nuestro continente tiene por ofrecer.

Nuestra película de apertura, la mexicana Los Lobos ofrece una mirada fresca sobre la inmigración, a través de los ojos de los más inocentes. La película muestra cómo superar las dificultades asociadas a la búsqueda de una vida mejor, aferrándose a la esperanza y los seres queridos.

Por otra parte, la guatemalteca La Llorona es una toma original sobre el drama social, combinado con trazas de elementos sobrenaturales, mientras nos lleva entre las vidas de la oligarquía pensando que sus pecados pueden ser perdonados, sólo para darse cuenta que existen fuerzas de las que no se puede escapar.

Cuestionaremos el género y la idea de masculinidad, mientras que seguimos a un grupo de raperos en la película chilena Piola y a las dificultades de un fisicoculturista retirado en el documental El campeón del Mundo. Asimismo, examinaremos -por primera vez en nuestro festival- el complejo tema de la intersexualidad, a través de la película venezolana Yo Imposible.

Otra de las gemas de este año es Miriam Miente, de la República Dominicana, que cuenta la dulce historia de una chica preparándose para su fiesta de quinceañera. Esta película, junto con el corto brasileño Complexos nos recordará que en Latinoamérica los términos ‘clasismo’ y ‘racismo’ están íntimamente ligados. Profundizaremos en la temática de este año a través de Cinema en Conversación, en colaboración con la Anti-Racism Media Activism Alliance (ARMA Alliance), donde reflexionamos sobre el racismo en Latinoamérica en el cine y cómo convertir experiencias en acciones en contra del racismo.

Siguiendo la línea dulce, la brasileña Pacarrete es la historia de una vieja intrépida que solo quiere bailar en su tutú, inclusive cuando nadie quiere verla.

Para complementar la selección, les ofrecemos dos documentales más: Las Sembradoras de Vida desglosa las dificultades que trae el cambio climático para el futuro de la agricultura, y el impactante Colombia in My Arms, una mirada brutalmente honesta al celebrado acuerdo de paz en Colombia, descendiendo al caos mientras diferentes perspectivas discuten los lados, la moral y la justicia social. Los directores se unirán para un Cinema en Conversación, en colaboración con Maailman Kuvalehti, lo que abrirá la discusión sobre periodismo y rodaje responsable.

El Corona nos tomó por sorpresa, pero Latinoamérica no para. Continuamos enfrentando retos viejos y nuevos. Que vengan. Denos quince años más. Que mientras Latinoamérica continúe, nosotros también lo haremos.

Carlos Marroquin, Director Artístico, Cinemaissí 2020

O Cinemaissí faz 15 anos. Quando olhamos para onde tudo começou, damo-nos conta de o quanto que se há para admirar: uma lista imensa de filmes, amigos, felicidade, tempos difíceis e desafios.

No entanto, ninguém estava preparado para o que está por vir em 2020 e o que isto significaria para a indústria cinematográfica do mundo todo. E de fato foi desafiador, mas sabíamos que retornaríamos este ano. Apresentamos a vocês uma seleção de 10 filmes

que os fará sonhar, rir, chorar, e o mais importante, eles lhes darão o combustível necessário para pensar enquanto aproveitam o melhor que o nosso cinema tem a oferecer.

O Cinemaissí 2020 será basicamente um festival virtual, e nossa presença será firme e forte. Já que nossa seleção de filmes deve que ser reduzida, definitivamente não pouparemos na qualidade.

Estreamos com o filme mexicano Los Lobos, que inova o modo como a questão imigratória é vista, neste caso sendo analizada através de olhos pequeninos. O filme mostra como os desafios, que surgem no processo de busca por uma vida mais digna, são superados com fé e o suporte de pessoas queridas.

Por outro lado, o filme guatemalense La Lorona é um verdadeiro exemplo de drama social, mas misturado com pitada sobrenatural. Ao passo que mergulhamos na mentalidade de uma vida oligarca – onde se acha que pecados podem ser perdoados -, passamos a nos dar conta das forças sobrenaturais existentes das quais não podemos fugir.

Iremos também questionar como formas de masculinidade e gênero são vistas,- acompanhando um grupos de rappers no filme chileno, Piola,-, e os problemas de um falido fisicoculturista uruguaio no documentário O Campeão do Mundo. Iremos também analisar pela primeira vez o complexo tema da intersexualidade no poderoso filme venezuelano Being Impossible.

Outra preciosidade deste ano é Miriam Miente, da República Dominicana, um conto doce que fala sobre uma garota se preparando para a sua festa da “Quinceañera”. Este filme juntamente com o curta brasileiro Complexos nos relembra de como termos “classicismo” e “racismo” estão extremamente ligados. Aprofundaremos temas como o racismo com discussões no Cinema in Conversation, em colaboração com a ARMA Alliance (Anti-Racism Media Activism Alliance). Iremos nos aprofundar em assuntos como o racismo, e em com experiências já vividas podem se tornar uma ação antiracista.

Continuando a doce linhagem, o brasileiro Pacarrete é um conto sobre o destemido morcego que só gostaria de dançar em seu ballet tutu, ainda que ninguém o que queira assistir.

Finalizando nossa seleção de filmes temos mais dois documentários. O primeiro, Mothers of the Land, nos revela os desafios do futuro da agricultura em meio à mudança climática. O segundo, Colombia in My Arms, uma olhada incrivelmente honesta sobre o tão celebrado acordo de paz da Colômbia, que se depara com o caos assim que diferentes perspectivas falam sobre separação, moral e justiça social. Os diretores irão participar do Cinema in Conversation com o jornal Maailman Kuvalehti, que abrirá a discussão falando sobre jornalismo responsável e a indústria cinematográfica.

Até logo! Embora Corona tenha nos pegado de surpresa, a América Latina não para. Continuamos enfrentando antigos e novos desafios. É isso aí, podem nos dar mais 15 anos, porque já que a América Latina continua existindo, nos também continuaremos!

Carlos Marroquin, Diretor Artístico, Cinemaissí 2020

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Travel with Cinemaissí this Autumn

Travel with Cinemaissí this Autumn

Cinemaissí 2020 will take you on a flight to Latin America with an online movie catalogue that delights the autumn days.


Wherever you are in Finland, you can enjoy the movies here on our webpage on the festival week 21-25 October.


In addition to the online catalogue, a powerful programme of exclusive and safe on-site screenings will be organized in Caisa’s Cultural Center.


The 15th edition of Cinemaissí festival will offer an exciting diversity of movies and themes to dive into through panel discussions.

The programme will be published in two weeks, on the 7th of October.


Join the journey on our Instagram and Facebook!

Vuoden 2020 Cinemaissí lennättää sinut Latinalaiseen Amerikkaan netissä saatavilla olevalla leffakatalogilla, joka ilahduttaa syksyn päiviä.


Voit nauttia elokuvista nettisivuillamme missä tahansa Suomen rajojen sisällä festariviikolla 21.-25. lokakuuta.


Lisäksi upea ohjelma paikan päällä nähtäviä elokuvia tarjotaan katsojille turvallisesti rajoitetuin paikkamäärin Caisan kulttuurikeskuksessa.


Cinemaissín 15. edition ohjelma, joka tarjoaa monipuolisen kattauksen elokuvia ja teemoja joihin syventyä, julkaistaan parin viikon päästä 7. lokakuuta.


Lähde matkaseuraksemme Instagramissa ja Facebookissa!

Cinemaissí 2020 te llevará a visitar a América Latina con un catálogo de películas en línea que deleitará los días de otoño.


Dondequiera que estés en Finlandia, puedes disfrutar de las películas aquí, en nuestra página web durante la semana del festival -21 al 25 de octubre.


Además del catálogo en línea, organizaremos de forma segura un intenso programa de proyecciones presenciales exclusivas en el Centro Cultural de Caisa.


El programa de la 15ª edición del festival Cinemaissí, que ofrece una apasionante diversidad de películas y temáticas para explorar, se publicará en dos semanas, el 7 de octubre.

¡Únete al viaje a traves de nuestras cuentas en Instagram y Facebook!

A edição 2020 do Cinemaissí te levará à América Latina através de uma programação on-line que fará dos seus dias de outono mais prazerosos.

Independente de onde esteja, poderá disfrutar dos filmes na página do Cinemaissí na semana do festival, entre os dias 21 e 25 de outubro.

Além da programação on-line, uma competente seleção de filmes exclusivos será organizada de forma segura no Centro Cultural Caisa.

A programação do 15a edição do Cinemaissí, que oferece uma excitante diversidade de filmes e temas nos quais mergulhar, será publicada em duas semanas, no dia 7 de outubro.

Junte-se a nós através do nosso Instagram e Facebook!