Interview with director Xavier Pijuan (MARIA FERNANDA IN TIME)

Xavier Pijuan’s short film played at the January 2017 Sci-Fi/Fantasy Film Festival. It was the one of the funniest short films that has played at the festival to date.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Xavier Pijuan: The principal motivation was that I had to do a short film as my final project at the cinema school 😉 But… I choose this idea because I have always enjoyed scifi movies and I wanted to do a short film with a time machine. And I thought it would be a funny idea that the universe was trapped in a loop due to a stupid thing. And I put one of my “traumas”… my mother… (more or less, eh?… my mother is not like the mother of the film… well… sometimes… maybe yes.)

MT: From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?

XP: I had the idea in the middle of the course and we shot at the end of the course. It took 3 o 4 months I think. But I did other things and I participated in my classmate’s short films. Not all the time was destined to do the short film.

MT: How would you describe your short film in two words!?

XP: Mothers & Time Machines.

MT: What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

XP: Find the location. We tried to rent a lab, but we didn’t find anyone. And finally, we found a children’s school that had classes that could work as a lab.. and we shot the short film in a school during the weekend.

MT: What were your initial reactions when watching the Toronto audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

XP: The first reaction was “¡Wow! These people enjoy and laugh with my film in the other part of the world. The film works!”. It’s nice to see that people from a long distance laugh with the same silly things that I laugh.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video of the Short Film:

MT: How did you come up with the idea for this short film?

XP: I didn’t remember. One day I though it would be funny to invent a time machine that only goes back in time 1 second. And I though that if this time machine breaks… all the universe would be trapped in a bucle of only 1 second for all the eternity. I transformed this 1 second into 30 seconds… because if all the short film is a loop of only 1 second it would have been too stressful.

MT: What film have you seen the most in your life?

XP: Obviously “Groundhog day”, my favorite movie. And Bill Murray is my favorite actor.

MT: What is next for you? A new film?

XP: I did others shorts films after “Maria Fernanda”. I have a web page where you can see the thing I do (if you want): .

Now I’m working in a script of a series that I want to present to producers. And meanwhile I earn my life doing videos for different entities and people.

My last thing is a little web series that I’m doing myself in my free time titled: “L’Homme Triste”. If you want to see it (and give me a like ;-)) it’s in this facebook page:


Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 20-50 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto, and Los Angeles at least 2 times a month. Go to for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

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