Interview with Screenwriter Pepe García Gilling (BORDER FLESH)

1. What is your screenplay about?

After losing his brother and the only family he has left, 14-year-old Connor encounters Fernanda and her 13-year-old daughter, Bárbara. Both women are Mexican and don’t speak a word of English. Connor, Fernanda and Bárbara must communicate as best they can to survive a zombie apocalypse at the México-U.S. border. When they all decide to head North, a series of events unfolds that will ultimately lead Bárbara and Connor to unexpected encounters and unwanted confrontations.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Definitely horror as a main genre, but also falls under border film, Chicanx film and even a coming-of-age film as subgenres.

3. Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

The two main characters don’t communicate verbally all that well, considering that neither speaks the others language really. Because of this, as much as descriptive as the script could be, it’d be nothing compared with what the viewer could get from the actor and actress’s performance. The borders and the barriers of communication are a fundamental theme in the story, this is better seen on screen. As a bonus, the subtle subplot of a zombie apocalypse nos always better on screen than read. There are gore elements to which the written word do no do justice, as well as other bizarre scenes included throughout.

4. How would you describe this script in two words?

Zombies and miscommunication.

5. What movie have you seen the most times in your life?

Maybe it’s between Jurassic Park, Pan’s Labyrinth, Stalker, LOTR trilogy, or In the Loop. I also have kids so maybe Frozen.

6. How long have you been working on this screenplay?

Under six months maybe.

7. How many stories have you written?

Several because I’ve also written a few short stories in English and Spanish. If we’re talking about how many scripts I’ve written, maybe over a dozen shorts and 4-5 features.

8. What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)

I don’t think there’s one song, unless it’s Las Mañanitas (Mexican birthday song) or the Mexican national anthem, that I know I’ve listened to the most. Favorite, maybe “Me Despido” by Timoneki, “Paricutín” by Mercedes Nasta, “Yes I Am” by pg.lost, several Linkin Park or Blink 182 songs, or maybe “Huapango” by José Moncayo or Vivaldi’s seasons.

9. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Plot holes are always a concern but not so much this time. My concern was being able to write in both languages and still get the message across and having a story that’s understandable for the anglo reader.

10. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

My family, poetry, fútbol and México.

11. You entered your screenplay via FilmFreeway. What has been your experiences working with the submission platform site?

I think it’s fantastic, it’s practical, and far reaching. As a submitter and a festival organizer, I’m very happy for FilmFreeway.

12. What influenced you to enter the festival? What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?

The fact that there’s feedback. I was hopeful for good feedback and specific critique and this was very much on point of what I had in mind. I was happy with the feedback and proud of myself because this is the first screenplay I’ve put out into the world and it’s been doing well fortunately.

Watch the Screenplay Reading:

After losing his brother and the only family he has left, 14-year-old Connor encounters Fernanda and her 13-year-old daughter, Bárbara. Both women are Mexican and don’t speak a word of English. Connor, Fernanda and Bárbara must communicate as best they can to survive zombie apocalypse at the México-U.S. border. When they all decide to head North, a series of events unfolds that will ultimately lead Bárbara and Connor to unexpected encounters and unwanted confrontations.

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Steve Rizzo
Dustin: Geoff Mays

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