Interview with Filmmaker Martín Cerviño (BACK TO OUR ROOTS)

BACK TO OUR ROOTS, 11min, Panama, Documentary
Directed by Martin Cervino, Vernny Arguello
Set in the paradisiacal Cahuita, by the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica, Back to our Roots invites you to discover how the Calypso, a musical rhythm with African roots, became the voice and symbol of protest of African-American people that straggles against the inequalities throughout history.

Get to know filmmaker Martín Cerviño:

1. What motivated you to make this film?

My main motivation is people. I love to tell stories and give good people the chance to inspire others to transform their lives.

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

It took us 6 weeks to create the story, do the pre interviews and plan all the production aspects of the film. We were already deeply involved with similar music/social issues stories in Panama, Uruguay and Colombia so the we already knew what to expect form the global frame. After we started the production phase in Cahuita, everything ran smoothly, and we did the production and post production of the documentary in just 15 days.

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

Powerful heritage.

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

By far, Covid. Not being able to travel to Costa Rica in that sense. Working and coaching local crew on the nature of the film and the purpose. And of course, making sure that the crew and cast were always working and living in a safe environment.

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

I felt proud of the crew and everyone working behind the film, again. And, specially really proud of the cast. They are the heart and soul of the story. If their voice and music can inspire others to be better, that means everything to us.

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

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

I think my father and uncle had to do a lot in this sense. We where surrounded by hundreds of family memories recorded in a super 8mm and we gathered regularly to watch those tapes. It was a symbol of union to us.

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

Actually “Encanto” from Disney, I have small kids and they also love music and good stories, haha. I also feel really inspired by films, books, podcast and interviews on the story of the 1972 plane crash in the Andes.

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

You are doing a great job. It would be amazing if you can promote the website of the films. For example we created a web site that has same more information on the story []. It’s also a something beautiful.

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

Really good and simple to use.

10. What is your favorite meal?

Asado. A good Uruguayan asado, all the way.

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

We are working on a series of documentaries that involved extreme winemakers around the continent.


By matthewtoffolo

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

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