Actor Francisco Reyes of the HBO Latino Series "Profugos" with Jackie Gagne of HBO on the Red Carpet at the New York International Latino Film Festival on Wednesday August 15, 2012. (Photo : Latinospost/David Salazar)
Latino filmmakers will get an opportunity to show off their culture and craft this week at the New York International Latino Film Festival.
The HBO sponsored Festival got off to a start on Tuesday August 14, but Wednesday was its first full day of screenings.
The major events took place in the evening when a red carpet event was followed by the world premiere screening of HBO Latino's series "Profugos" which tells the tale of four men who become fugitives after a drug deal gets busted.
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Prior to the screening, audiences were treated to "The Acting Lesson," a short film that won the Best Short Film Competition 2012 for the festival. The film which is directed by first time Helmer Pelaez, tells the story of an actress who comes to ask a maid for acting tips. As their lesson develops both discover a hidden secret from their pasts that connects them in an emotional and uplifting twist.
Once "Profugos" was finished, filmmaker Alberto Ferraras came up to the podium to conduct a one on one interview with star Francisco Reyes who was in attendance. During the course of their chat (which took place solely in Spanish), Reyes spoke about the preparation for the film, the difficulties of the project, and included a segment on Chilean cinema.
Watch the Interview Below (It is only in Spanish)
"For us it was an ambitious project. And at the same time it created an immediate adrenaline rush," said Reyes about being asked to work on the show. "We knew that we would have to exhaust all of our capacities to create an action series situated in Chile that would not only be action-oriented but would also show the complexities of each one of us. It was a true challenge."
Regarding the difficulty of preparing for the role of Oscar Salamanca Reyes said that "The action scenes were very complicated. Essentially for people like us who are not [Arnold] Schwarzenegger."
After momentarily laughter, he added that "We had three months of training in wrestling, and use of weapons."
The conversation then shifted to the state of Chilean cinema and why it rarely got mentioned on the international stage.
"Narratively, I would classify it as cryptic," he added regarding the style of filmmaking. "It tries to show or describe the emotional states of the Chileans."
"It is a country of poets more than it is a country of narrative story tellers," he reinforced.
Regarding the audience in Chile Reyes estimated. "The audience is not that high either in Chile. You can get about 800,000 viewers per film. With that you can't even pay for the credits."
"I really like the cryptic cinema, but it is difficult cinema for a mass audience," he concluded.
Finally, Reyes was asked if he would be interested in moving to the US and working permanently in North America. He responded jokingly, "You mentioned earlier that Harrison Ford was missing from the show. Well, it's me."
The festival continues through Saturday 18 and will screen a number domestic and international features as well as a plethora of documentaries and shorts. The film festival is sponsored by HBO Latino, American Airlines, Telemundo, The Daily News, Wing, NBC New York, Z100, 105.1, and 103.5 KTU.
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