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Perseverance, Passion and Commitment: The language in which it is made

By: Maru Mansilla
The high jungle of Veracruz, near the volcano San Martin and the beach known as "roca partida", served as the scenarios for the filming of the new production from the Mexican director Ernesto Contreras. It is about the film “Sueño en Otro Idioma” (Dream in Another Language), something completely different, but no less interesting, to the exploration in his previous film, "Las Oscuras Primaveras", (The Dark Spring).
On this occasion, the director of the feature film "Párpados azules", (Blue eyelids) and the documentary “Seguir siendo Café Tacuva”, (Continue being Café Tacuva), also has a story very similar to the style of García Márquez, with whom he has been working for a long time.
That is how he met the VP Tonatiuh Martínez, a personal friend and the person in charge of photography on many of his films. "I had the pleasure that Ernesto also invited me to participate in this project, which we had been talking about for several years. Finally it could be done and that makes us all very happy."
The screenplay, written by Carlos Contreras, is a robust history in the best magical realism style. It tells the story of two elderly men, enemies from decades ago, and the arrival of a young linguist to the village where they live who comes looking for them with every intention of reconciling them and thus trying to save the language that these two men speak and that is about to disappear. The curious thing about this story, is that it is based on something that really happened in Tabasco several years ago.
A big dream , a big project that was supported by the producer Alebrije and the agency Sha, executive producers Monica Lozano and Erika Avila, the participation of a very committed team of professionals and students the national film industry, with whom EFD was honored to collaborate with.
A 2015 of jungles

Between February and May 2015, Tonatiuh Martinez was found filming “Sin muertos no hay Carnaval” ( No dead no Carnival), by director Sebastian Cordero in the warm and steamy jungles of Ecuador. And later that same year , between November and December, shooting “Sueño en otro idioma” (Dream in another language), in the cold and rainy forests of Veracruz. Two experiences the photographer describes as " enormous and rewarding " and which he bets will be two beautiful films.

What challenges were involved in filming in the jungle of Veracruz?
-Filming in that jungle was very difficult for several reasons . The terrain is very irregular because there is a lot of volcanic rock. The forest is very dense, there is no path and there are many insects. But the most difficult was the weather. At that time of year in Veracruz the existence of the Norths is very common, so there is constant rain and a lot of mud, the wind is strong and very cold," the VP explained.
All this weather situation obviously poses a major technical challenge for you as a photographer ...

"So it is. This film was a great technical challenge for me, because of the place and the climate that prevailed during filming, but also because the story takes place in two different times and it has magical realism, so there were several sequences requiring special image processing," noted Martinez.
It is logical to think that the interesting thing about filming in the locations that were chosen: jungle and beach, that you would use the exuberance of the landscape and as much possible use natural light. What technical equipment did you value in telling this story?
-"We used the Arri Alexa xt 4:3 camera, with ultra prime optical. We also employed the Fisher 11 Dolly, and carried large lights, an Arrimax 18k, two m90 to fill under the trees in the forest, which becomes extremely dark because the Sunlight does not come through. And where if the sun would pass through, the light was very hard and had too much contrast compared with the rest of the light. "

And as for the people, the team, is presumed that a project of this caliber involves the participation of an experienced team of professionals and that they be familiar in working together. Was it so?
"Well I was accompanied and supported by excellent professionals and cinema warriors, which came together as the best, taking into account the difficult circumstances of filming. The staff was coordinated by the experienced gaffer Javier Enriquez and his excellent team (Miguel Angel "Quiño" Garcia, head of electricians- Felipe Morales, head of stage machinery, Alejandro Tapia, Jorge Enriquez, Adrian Enriquez, Alejandro Castro "El Guero" and the great dollist Adrian "Kimbita" Romero) my focuser Hugo Navarro, with whom I have had the pleasure to work with in the last 3 movies. Also in charge of camera and second Adam Martinez, excellent collaborator and friend, and the valuable participation of my students of the fifth semester of CUEC (Laura Miranda, Israel Cruz, Argenis Salinas, Julio Flores, Sergio Matamoros and Diego Cruz), who participated as trainees of photography, and went to shoot once a week to join a professional process that reaffirmed the concepts seen in class, " said Martínez.

Six weeks of filming in a place like this may be too complicated for coexistence, what experiences or anecdotes do you remember about this film ?
"In general we got along well, with respect, despite situations of tension inherent in filming. Always in shooting there are moments of great harmony, in particular when shooting outside of your city of origin.
It is like a big family. In this case, it is to call attention that in the jungle and in the community where most of history occurred, there are no cell phones, no internet or any type of phone. So therefore we made this physically disconnected from the rest of the world, at least until nightime when we returned to the hotel that was quite far from the location. Literally, it was as if by day we were in another time and place and at the end of the shooting returned to the current time."
Now, the process continues. The film is now in post-production. Again, Tonatiuh Martínez faces the work in color correcting the light to give the image what is necessary, so that it will contribute to “Sueño en otro idioma” (Dream in another language), making it a memorable story.