Interview with Filmmaker Carlos E. Lesmes (PLAY/REPEAT)

PLAY/REPEAT, 8min., Estonia, Dance
Directed by Carlos E. Lesmes
There is a couple. Two bodies. Two beings. 1+1. Sometimes it feels like only one. This film piece wants to explore aspects of a relationship through movement, through the bodies of the performers. The unfathomable distance between two people. Broke but never broken.

Get to know the filmmaker:

1. What motivated you to make this film?

The film was born out of real life. It came as the result of a complicated relationship and the desire to express it and live it bodily, but it was shaped together with Real, Alis and Arolin. We worked together about the concept and a wish to explore the notion of loneliness and companionship that exists in a relationship. We all brought our stories and experiences to try and make something that could be expressive in a film form, without it needing text. We wanted the bodies and the images to speak.

This was an exploration process, of getting to know each other and trying something new. Exploring the types of materials and places around us to really connect with our past and present experiences.

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

It took us about 2 years. It is a long process but from the birth of the idea to filming we spent about 8 months developing the concept and then rehearsing. We dug deep into ourselves. Arolin was great at helping me and Rea to become scene partners and to explore our bodies and how to communicate through them. Connecting our emotions to our skins was a big part of our rehearsals, like learning how to talk again. At the same time we were developing the visual language with Alis and Kamilla, finding the best way to tell the story.

The shooting was short and super inspiring as it was a completely collective work. And after that the editing process took a long time. Mostly because the editing had to happen in between other work, so it was a long process of cultivation. But I believe that helped for the film to become and grow into what it is right now.

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

Alone Together.
Or Broke but never broken.

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

The main one was time. As we all had to find how to do it in between our work and residual lockdowns. But after that, it was a joy.

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

It was joyful! Listening to how the film was received and how it impacted people is a great sensation. That is the point of art, to communicate with others and that way make the world a bit less lonely.

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

This is tricky. I think I was lucky to get into film school after high school, but that was by chance. I originally wanted to be a comic book artist or tour with my band (hahaHa), but I got into film school because they used storyboards and then it clicked. I love making films and trying new things in the medium, mostly collaborating with others.

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

Also tricky. I think the contenders are some superhero films or horror movies. Or back to the future…maybe it is Jurassic Park.

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

I truly think that connecting with other makers and the audience is the most important thing. Sharing the room with the audience and talking to them is the most useful, it helps you grow as an artist.

I also think that smooth communication is key. It helps the creators feel that their work is appreciated.

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

It was very simple and easy to use. Very clear.

10. What is your favorite meal?

I love lentils. Bogota Style.

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

Right now I am half way through my PHD and preparing 2 new feature films, one is a documentary about roots and belonging and the other one is a coming of age Kung Fu comedy. It’s a really exciting moment. Full of fun stories to tell.


By matthewtoffolo

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

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