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A Candid Interview With South Florida Actor / Producer Carlos Antonio Leon

Do 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 films.

What do the words “independent filmmaker”mean for you? Is it financial independence or an independent opinion? Or both? Is it difficult to maintain individuality?

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 came up.

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 positive reactions?

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 about?

“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. 

Twitter @carantoleon

Instagram @carantoleon


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A Candid Interview With South Florida Actor / Producer Carlos Antonio Leon

Article's Author: Michelle "Chella" Magee
Published in: life

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