Interview with Filmmaker Cristián Arredondo (MARKS ON MY SKIN)

MARKS ON MY SKIN played to rave reviews at the April 2022 LGBTQ+ Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

From the very beginning, I was interested on getting to know more about the sexual work in Chile, from a trans perspective. I was in the beginning of my transition, trying to find my identity and I wanted to meet more trans people, so I could know about their experiences with their identities. For me it was very important to visualize an experience that is very little talked about in our society, and specially giving a voice to people who live these experiences day by day. The conditions that sexual workers, and specially trans sex workers, have to go through, it’s a problem that should be more discussed.

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

It took about four months to do it, it was quite a long process because it involved a lot of investigation, trying to find people who were willing to share their experiences with us and organizing our shooting process because we were in the middle of the pandemic.

3. How would you describe your film in two words?

Emotional and violent.

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

The hardest part of the process was to find our main character, we were looking for trans sexual workers who wanted to talk with us and share with us. We spent quite a few weeks asking institutions and activists that could help us, and Anastasia Maria Benavente, a very recognized trans performer and activist, gave us the contact of Canela InBenjamin, who at the end became our protagonist.

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

It was very nice to see the audience actually engaging with the story, and acknowledging where it is coming from. I appreciate a lot that people can connect with the experiences of our main character, and understand her position. But also recognizing her freedom.

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJk235BrMZ0

6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?

Since I was thirteen I dreamt about making films, and it’s everything I wanted to do since then. At first I loved watching films, and it came to a point in my life where I felt it was necessary for me to say something through a film. I love telling stories, but most of all I love to share my feelings with other people. I think it’s beautiful when cinema becomes an actual experience for the audience, and they get very involved with what it’s shown.

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

Matrix. One of the best films made in history.

8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?

It would be nice to have an instance where we could meet more experienced directors, producers, DoP’s, etc. Get more chances to diffuse our art in more festivals.

9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?

It was nice, it’s a very comfortable platform to use.

10. What is your favorite meal?

Sushi.

11. What is next for you? A new film?

My plan is to make a homemade short film with a friend, about someone who has anxiety against water. And I’m writing a film called “Electra”, which is about a trans teenage girl who has a techno-punk band and wants to win a band battle in order to prove herself that she’s an artist.

By matthewtoffolo

Filmmaker and sports fan. CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival www.wildsound.ca

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