Interview with Filmmaker Santiago Echeverry (BOGUE)

BOGUE, 4min., USA, Music Video
Directed by Santiago Echeverry
The House of Tupamaras is a group of Voguing performers based in Bogota, Colombia. They are professionally trained dancers that chose to break from the norm and explore the queerness of their bodies and their everyday self-expressions to turn their art form into a political tool, questioning the double standards of Colombian society. They create impromptu happenings, choreographed dances, kiki balls and have performed on stage with groups such as Pussy Riot, among others. Bogue stands for “Bogota Voguing” and seeks to capture the Tupamaras’s attitude, athletic musculature, and spunky personalities. Seeing Voguing as a dance duel, the original music mixes the sounds of two very famous scenes of latino soap operas, that portray violent – but absurd – female fights. The volumetric capture process isolates the dancers and creates a baroque like light and atmosphere.

Get to know the filmmaker:

1. What motivated you to make this film?

The first time I came out in Drag in Bogota, Colombia, was during a performance art piece in 1989, when Homosexuality was still illegal in the country. I founded the first Gay students association in my college in 1991, and then I became Sister Opus Gay, in the Colombian Order of the Sisters of the Perpetual Indulgence. Ever since then I have been working for LGBTQ+ rights not only in my country. Almost 30 years later, with a country that evolved in a very positive manner, having equal rights for all, the House of Tupamaras emerged as this symbol of cultural expression, using Voguing as their main method of communication. I had to document their existence, using the Kinect sensor to capture them in volumetry.

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

The process started in August 2019, and was finally shot in September, in one single afternoon. The postproduction process (more then 30000 still images animated in After Effects) and audio generation took about 2 more weeks.

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

Volumetric Attitude

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

Time and money: I was visiting Bogota for just a few days, and we had to find a last minute space (the bondage club) to finally be able to shoot the scenes.

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

WHAT A CHANCE TO HEAR THIS!!! FASCINATING!!! WHAT A JOY! Usually, we send our videos and they remain in the void, we don’t know how people react! THANK YOU for this opportunity! The soundtrack is sampling two Mexican soap operas where two divas fight with each other in exaggerated ways. The sound reflects the dancing battle between two voguing dancers. These two soap operas have become viral in LatinAmerica.

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

I did not go out to the movie theaters when I was growing up, with the occasional exceptions. Instead I rented every single movie I could find using my Betamax! I knew I wanted to go into video and television, and thanks to technology, Film/Animation/Video have finally merged, opening so many possibilities!

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

The Fifth Element! it is my go to movie when I need a distraction from relaity or I am depressed.

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

The fact that you receive some form of feedback is essential! I have been very involved in organizing festivals, and I do believe the live interaction with the audience is essential. With modern technology, you could create a Zoom chat where filmakers and audiences can interact regardless of their geographical location. The idea of the podcast is Phenomenal: a preservation of memories!

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

It is my main application site: I trust it, I like it, and I would have not heard of your Festival had it not been for the direct promotional email I received from Filmfreeway.

10. What is your favorite meal?

AJIACO: typical potato, chicken, and capers soup from Bogota, Colombia ��

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

I am in crisis: the Kinect is NO longer recognized in the latest MacOSX, forcing me to explore other volumetric possibilities. I am fascinated with the aesthetics of the body and I am trying to find alternatives at this point. I have been working with Artifical Intelligence for a while, and I may explore the possibilities of automatically generated video (yes, I am a geek…)


By matthewtoffolo

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

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