Filmmaker Heixan Robles’s winning ticket for France: his movie "El transfer"
- e-Toile: Your short film «El Transfer», a comedy which you directed in collaboration with Zorimar Gonzalez , was awarded “Best Film” ,“Best Script” and “Best Actor” at the 4th European Film Festival in Puerto Rico, and as a result, it will be shown at multiple film festivals in Europe— a great success as a young filmmaker.
Why did you chose comedy as the genre to achieve your goal with this short film?
Heixan Robles: Winning a festival such as this one encourages me in knowing that there is something I must be doing right. It is a great success, like you said, to know that people other than my friends hanging out in my living room appreciate my work.
The theme arose as a requirement of the festival and our own brain storming session focused on “how to tell a story about going to Europe, without having to necessarily be there, and not having to pack a suitcase and go to the airport?”
The genres were also assigned arbitrarily by the festival, we were assigned comedy by chance.
Sometimes I ask myself “What would we have done if we would have been assigned another genre like horror or drama?”
- e-Toile: Now that you have the opportunity to participate and to show your short film in Europe, what are your immediate and long term plans as a filmmaker?
Heixan Robles: On this trip, I want to meet European filmmakers and introduce them to my work and maybe even form professional relationships with some.
I also hope to be able to learn from the industry and the film culture in Europe. It would be incredible to do a co-production with France in the near future.
Otherwise, I love being able to do both things, to work professionally as a cinematographer and when possible to direct as well.
- e-Toile: Globalization has the capability to cause large and transformative changes at social and cultural levels including the artistic expression.
What hopes do you have for the future of filmmaking, and more specifically for the future of your Puerto Rican cinema?
Heixan Robles: I totally agree, the arts reflect current social condition, it can inspire change as well as complacency.
Unfortunately the globalization that predominates is not one of exchange of equal measures of various cultures.
The type of globalization that predominates is capitalist; it goes one direction generally, particularly in Puerto Rico.
However, it fills me with hope that filmmaking is one of the medias that can also function independently or hand in hand with this phenomenon and be part of a broader cultural syncretism; and a platform like the Festival Hecho en Europa, is the perfect example.
- e-Toile: Do you think that a festival such as «Hecho en Europa» provides an example of promotion of the different cultures?
Finally, as far as artistic expression concerns, what importance do you give to the expression of culture and ethnic identity.
Heixan Robles: The importance that I give to the nationality, culture and ethnic identity in my projects, is the
same that I give to the props, customs and set designs. They are very important as tools to tell a story and each story focuses more or less on some of these aspects, but the story itself, has to be humane, universal.
I am interested in making films that I would go see at the movie theater I think we all do it with that intention.
I like to tell a story that is simple but that suggests a world beyond the one presented.
I love visual clues that make the film complex but that won’t complicate it. I hope this whole madness makes some sense to someone.
I love to escape to alternate worlds and realities, in the end, I am a dreamer and film gives me the perfect escape.
Article published on May 29th, 2013.