Q: Did you always want to be filmmakers?
A: “Yes, we did. Sonia, wanted to be an actress, but she noticed that her true talent was as a director to other actors. And me, I always wanted to be filmmaker since I saw Batman in 1989. I was seven years old, but I knew that there’s nothing more wonderful in the world than film.”
Q: How did you get started?
A: “We went to the cinema to see a film directed by Steven Spielberg. We were very excited for this movie but, at the end, we got out disappointed because we had been waiting to see this movie since 2001. We were in the bus going home when Sonia said she had an idea for a movie about a lost cat and, after two or three changes, we had a very interesting issue (without cat). We thought: ‘we must make it’ and we were so tired of seeing movies which we thought could be better. So, we decided to make our own movie where cinema would be 100 percent cinema.”
Q: Why did you decide to write this particular script?
A: “We think that the most important element in a movie is not the story, but rather if the story can be a transmitter of emotions. Hollywood for years has been without good ideas because it lacks in this concept. The most important thing, we think, is to transmit emotion. Filmmakers must get people to feel the same way as the character feels in the film. When you don’t care about the characters, the movie is not good. Clint Eastwood proved this when he made yet another boxing movie [Million Dollar Baby].”
Q: Did you have any unusual difficulties during filming?
A: “Yes, we had two big difficulties: shooting with a seven year-old child because he was so hyperactive. He had a hard time keeping quiet and his scenes required the opposite. But, we think that the result is good. Second, the sequence-shot (the violent rape scene) of 33 minutes. It had to be rehearsed for three months. At last, we used the steady-cam for shooting (the original scene was going to be more quiet).”
Q: What lessons did you learn as filmmakers this time around, and what advice do you have for first-time filmmakers?
A: “Well, we have been making short films since 2005, but this was our first feature film. We have learned to direct actors in extreme situations, and we learned to structure a script to make it emotional.”
Q: Will winning an award from Indie Fest help your career and help promote your film?
A: “Of course, to win an award means a theatrical distribution in our country. This is one of the most important things for a movie, with distribution it can be watched by everyone.”
Q: What's your next project?
A: “It is about the skinhead group and it will have a big budget.”
Q: This movie was graphic, what has the feedback been from people who have seen it? Are they disturbed? Sensitive toward it?
A: “Yes. During one showing, a woman felt so dizzy, she had to leave the cinema. We know that the film is graphic, but it’s necessary to show what a real violation is like and for viewers to understand what a woman feels like in this terrible situation. There are people out there who are determined to take advantage of weak people like immigrants. However, we mustn’t forget that this is a realism movie. Although, almost all of the people who have seen the movie have agreed that they like it.”
Q: Where did you find the actors?
A: “Sonia Escolano, the co-director, is a theater director too, and almost all of the actors in the film have come from her theatre group, called Broken and Stitched.”
Q: What was it like shooting the film in Spain?
A: “In Spain, we usually say: ‘No man is a prophet in his own land.’ The truth is that Myna has gone on to have success only in the United States. We suppose that it makes sense because to Spanish people, in general, they only like American movies.”
Q: Has the film been distributed? If so, where?
A: “Not yet, but we hope so soon. We are beginning to get some support here. We suppose that we had to prove something first.”
Q: What is the message that you wanted to send out regarding this film?
A: “It’s a critic message about our Western society of racism, but we also wanted to show the guilt complex when we don’t know if we have done something really bad. Are we ready to help somebody even if it means a great sacrifice on our part?”
Q: It costs $7,500 to make; how did you make it for such a little cost?
A: “First, we didn’t want to annoy actors by offering them little pay, so we ended p hiring unknown actors and as a result we got very natural performances. Second, obviously we have not much money (laugh). But, overall, we wanted to prove that we could make a great movie without money.”
Q: Were you pleased with the end result?
A: “Yes, we were. When we finish a short film, we always find mistakes. It’s the first time that we are pleased with our work.”
Q: There were long periods of time in various scenes where there was no talking and the camera stayed focused on one room ... was this intentional?
A: “Well, we have the influences of several filmmakers like Michael Haneke or Gus Van Sant; they usually use this film resource. Besides, we love a single film resource called “Image Off,” which Alfred Hitchcock used in Frenzy, for example. People going to the cinema must use their imagination and when they can hear a noise, but cannot identify it with an image, they think: ‘what is it happening? Therefore, the sequence-shot concept is decisive in our film because it allows us to contain and control the reality due because it is in real-time.”
Q: What was the hardest thing about making this film?
A: “Of course the sequence-shot (the violation scene) because we knew that the actors would need psychological support. We were worried that maybe we crossed the limit.”
Q: The best?
A: “The actress who plays Maria had to speak in perfect Russian (she is Spanish) for the oranges scene. We were very worried for this issue. When the scene only took one shot, we couldn’t believe it! The entire crew cried and embraced each other; it was a little strange (laugh).”
Q: How long did it take to make the film?
A: “The shooting was just three weeks but we had to rehearse for six months totally.”
Q: What are your personal backgrounds?
A: “Well, we come from meek backgrounds, although that’s different in Spain. We know that in the USA this matter is very important but, in Spain, it’s not necessary to have a cinema or theater background to make movies or work in this environment.”
Q: Do you have full time jobs?
A: “No. It would be impossible if we want to make more movies and to have success.”