Why did you want to shoot in Bogota? How did you learn about the Las Cruces neighborhood?
Julien Naveau, producer at Noodles Production, offered me to make a film in Bogota. I went there to scout the location. We visited several neighborhoods in the city. When I discovered “Las Cruces”, I knew right away that this is where we would shoot the film, because there was something very lively, intense and raw about it.
How did you choose the different sets? Are they quite representative or are there some less dilapidated places that didn’t grab your attention?
I started by wandering around the market square, and I watched the passer-bys. Some of them came to meet me, and they told me their stories… From my wanderings, I retained some points of view. To open the film to the city, I expanded the shoot to other places: an old abandoned hospital, a recycling center, a bordering forest… places that were very representative of the city and of its movements. Bogota is a city that is organized around dilapidated areas and construction. I wanted to explore these paradoxes: the work site [last shot in the film] and the ruins. The end of a cycle and the beginning of another.
Why did you want to show these marginal people and their connections to delinquency? And to what extent did you prepare and shoot the film with the local inhabitants?
The casting took place naturally, I realized that it was important for certain people to tell their own stories and to be in the film. I never directed the actors and I never told them what they had to say… I just built good relationships with them, and then I sketched their movements, some encounters. They improvised the dialogues based on their life experiences. I placed them in situations that created a shift and allowed the actors to react with their imaginations. All the characters in the film, like the neighborhood itself, have two faces: they can be very friendly or terribly violent. Human nature is like that, but here in particular, the contrast is huge. For the actors, as for me, the film is cathartic. Cinema is a way to look at the world, that is why I wanted to show these places where we don’t want to go and don’t want to see, to show things the way they are and to sublimate them through cinema. In Colombia, reality is powerful, so there is little that you have to do for it to become fiction, cinema.
What interested you in tracing the path of the film by following the successive movements of these characters?
To cross through a moment in time in a territory with a multitude of characters. The characters, like the camera, sketch bit by bit the time and space of the film.
Do you have any other film projects that consist of deambulations through a territory and filming its “dilapidation”?
I am in post-production on a fictional film shot in Estonia, on the Russian border, the deambulation of a single character in a devastated and deserted landscape. Between tale and science fiction, it’s a journey through ruins and strangeness, the end of a world.
Are there any particular freedoms that the short film format allows you?
The short format allows my films to be very spontaneous, here the scouting and the writing are done in a single stage, during the shoot the sets as well as the characters were held up for a very short time so they could continue with their lives, and the editing took place immediately afterwards…