There is an exciting world out there in the movie industry that many people have yet to experience. As actors, we often get asked when and in which movie theater our movie is going to be shown. Not every film makes it to the theaters. Some go straight to DVD or TV. Then you have the film festivals. Typically held annually all over the world, film festivals shed light on independent films, up-and-coming actors, and unique genres.
My heart is filled with happiness and pride as the Chicago Latino Film Festival wraps up. It was truly an amazing experience where stories were told through the eyes of filmmakers from all over the world. For us to be able to show Mi Princesa, a movie in which I had my first role as a lead actress, was an honor. We were one of the films representing my island, Puerto Rico.
Top: (Me during filming of Mi Princesa in Puerto Rico)
Bottom: (With Mi Princesa Director Carlos Jimenez Flores at our movie premiere in the Festival)
Our first presentation of “Mi Princesa” was on Saturday April 12. I did not know what to expect. Fortunately, we had a full house. It is customed that at the end of a movie being presented at a festival there is a Q & A (Questions and Answers) where the director, actors, producers step up to the front and respond to questions from the audience. I have to say that this was one of my favorite parts of the entire process. Being able to explain different aspects of working in the film, decisions taken as an actress for my role, and answering to the other curiosities from the audience was an absolute honor for me. Words cannot describe how I felt as I spoke to each and every one of the people that came to me after we exited the sala.
Being an actress sometimes you go through your ups and downs, insecurities and fear regarding your career . It can be a very unstable lifestyle that you try to balance with family, friends and love relationships. But moments like these, when you receive immediate feedback from your work, is when you realize that you are where you have to be, you are doing what you should be doing. I met so many beautiful people. Words of encouragement, no agendas, simply pure love and respect. My heart was crying happy tears.
Attending these Film Festivals, you not only get the opportunity to interact with the audience but also with fellow actors, directors, and producers who are out there presenting their latest work of art, their “babies.” Through the daily luncheons provided by the swell festival organizers, we had the opportunity to meet, talk about our projects, make connections, share our experiences in the film making process while, of course, enjoy some great wine and food as well.
(With Colombian actor Manolo Cardona)
How beautiful it is to sit in a room with people from completely different countries and backgrounds but with one big thing in common: a love for creating films. It has been one of my biggest gratifications so far. I will forever treasure the experience, the inspiration, and the kindness I received at the Chicago Latin Film Festival.
(With Chilean actress Paulina Garcia. She received the Career Achievement Award at the Festival)
I encourage everybody to support the Film Festivals. You learn to appreciate this art at a whole new level and at the same time learn about other cultures. Aside from our movie, “Mi Princesa”, I was able to attend various movie showings and enjoyed beautiful cinematography and storytelling. There is no need for a Hollywood budget to make a great movie. No big crews, not so much complexity on the story board. All you need is a good STORY to tell.
I want to highlight the movies “El Faro” (Colombia-Dir. Pacho Bottia), “No quiero dormir sola” (Mexico-Dir. Natalia Beristain), “I am from Chile” (Gonzalo Diaz), “Somos gente honrada” (Spain Dir. Alejandro Marzoa), “Corazon de Leon” (Argentina- Dir. Marcos Carnevale), and short film “Eggman” (USA-Dir. Victor Martin).
I also want to thank Festival Director Pepe Vargas for a well organized festival and for always being present and available for anything we needed. Congratulations on a successful 30th year Anniversary of the Chicago Latino Film Festival.
(With Festival Director Pepe Vargas)
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