filmmakers have any responsibility to culture?
Sure! Cinema is a way to reflect society’s zeitgeist, whatever it may be, from
racism to human trafficking to our everyday stories. We can’t underestimate the
power of film in our societies. Movies can move us, teach us, entertain us, and
many filmmakers feel they have this duty to create awareness through their
What do the words “independent filmmaker”mean for you? Is it financial
independence or an independent opinion? Or both? Is it difficult to maintain
Well, to me the independent filmmaker is that one free from coercion and
unwilling to compromise his/her convictions...is not owned by big studios and
interest groups that may corrupt the actual message of a movie. If they own you
through the financing of your film then chances are your film would have to
change ( against your will) to please those financiers. It’s very difficult to
remain true to yourself while maneuvering the demands of financiers. Hence many
filmmakers are creating ways to maximize the quality of the stories while
minimizing the cost of shooting them. Robert Rodriguez ( “Desperado”) just shot
a film with $7 thousands. That’s remarkable.
As a South Florida actor/producer, when did you decide to cross over from
acting to also producing and why?
I wanted more control over my own projects. This is a very though business and
getting good roles is really hard. As a producer I can also chose my roles, get
involved in the development of the project, dates, locations, etc...I’m also
financially benefited once the films are distributed. So it’s a win win.
Tell us about your award winning film "Ann"?
“ANN” is a very special film for me. The hardest role I’ve ever played...ever!
It’s now available via Xfinity ( Comcast) which is amazing since art-house
films like “ANN” are not easy to sale. A lot of the distribution companies want
only comercial films, with famous faces and made by big studios. So it was good
to see that our little independent gem was able to score.
Ann is a rather dark film with a compelling parallel world that a character
finds refuge in. How did the idea for this film come to fruition?
Carla Forte ( writer/director) wrote it 8 years before shooting. It was written
for an actress to play ANN. However Carla met a homeless transgender named ANN
and such experience made her change her plans. That’s how I came to it. We shot
the whole film in only 5 days with a tiny budget. We are very proud of how it
Is this a movie primarily about a transgender man?
No. It’s actually about our ego and how it can destroy our lives and those
around us. It’s about Our primitive instincts to please ourselves first
disregarding the needs of others.
Is there a message fans are to walk away with after watching "Ann"?
For independent filmmakers the message is “you can do it too” you don’t need a
million bucks and big Hollywood stars to make your project. All you need is a
good story and a lot of creativity and guts.
How have movie-goers reacted to the film? Do you feel it has been primarily
I think so. Many people see themselves represented in “ANN” and “RUBEN”....the
ways couples break down and become adrift...the way two lovers can turn their
relationship into something corrosive and toxic. I think a lot of people saw a
mirror right there.
You have 2 new films "Steel Clad" and. "Miky" which you
reunite with "Ann's" director Carla Forte. What are these 2 films
“Steel Clad” ( Blindado) is a very good action film shot in Venezuela by Carlos
Malave. It opened in Venezuelan theatres last November and now it’ll go to
Colombia and the Caribbean. I play a supporting role while also been the
executive producer. “MIKY” is my new collaboration with my dear Carla Forte. I
can’t say much but I can tell you she wrote it thinking on me which is such an
honor! This film will come out in 2020 and (trust me!) it will shake things up!
Besides I’m pushing my acting talents to the limits again.
Anything else in the works you want to share with readers?
Oh yeah! I’m in talks to star in two more projects to be shot next year...but
this time I will keep things to myself and speak about it only when they are
done. I’m not superstitious but I’ve learned that secrecy is the best way to
protect your projects. Besides I don’t feel that need to be showing off on
social media everything I will do. You’ll know about it when the time is right.
Lastly, what are your thoughts on the turmoil going on in Venezuela?
Hard subject. It’s so frustrating that for the first time in more than ten
years we were so close to free our country ( after Juan Guaidó was named
Interim President) but once again the evil powers were able to stay put...you
know, I think Guaidó just stalled. He can’t go beyond this point. He did all he
was able (provided his limited powers) but without a military intervention from
abroad is literally impossible. The guy has no weapons. 50 plus countries
support him but such support is only diplomatic; it does not translate into
action. And the US simply played us. They kept hinting an intervention but they
already knew ( from the beginning) that such thing was never contemplated as a
possibility as Mike Pompeo finally admitted last November. I feel powerless. I
can only keep hoping for the best. That’s all we have left: hope.