Freedom is a costly endeavor worth taking.
Interview with Writer/Director Jose Ignacio Correa
Congratulations! Why did you make your film?
I made this movie as a thesis film for my masters in film production in Paris, that was the initial intent, but most importantly, I made this movie because I love telling stories. I don't want to get political in any way. I love to tell visually interesting stories with a powerful narrative. Many gay and lesbian film makers want to tell stories to provoke a certain change in terms of political activism. My motivations are purely on a need to tell a story basis. It is a film maker's duty to transport his or her audience into a parallel universe for a period of time and let them enjoy the experience.
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?
I think audiences should be taunted by watching films about characters they might somehow feel some sort of resemblance towards. You as an audience member should watch it because you might find yourself somehow attached to characters that want to lead a different life. Characters that break the rules in order to be free. We all seek freedom in our lives even if this means sacrificing other things, including one’s own physical integrity like the main character of Jackie does.
How do personal and universal themes work in your film?
Well, the main theme in this film is freedom, and freedom is a universal theme that everyone in this planet wants to achieve somehow. The father’s character who then becomes Jackie, Father Andres, is slightly turned off and bored of living in this tight nutshell called priesthood, and he has these inner sexual fantasies which are hidden, and little by little he breaks the mold, begins tasting these fantasies, and leaves the church and becomes this extraordinary being that he himself called it Jackie, out if his alter ego, Jackie Kennedy. The main message in this movie I guess is to be yourself, and if you have to sacrifice everything to become who you really want to become, then do it.
How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development and production?
Well, the original idea was to shoot this film in France, with French characters and so on, but then i thought that it would be much more interesting and challenging to shoot it in South America. At the time, around 2010, Ecuador had a booming streak of films being made, specially features, but almost nothing was invested in shooting LGBT related films. I thought that this was a great advantage for me, because not only did I think that the story was right for Ecuador, but i went even further by shooting it entirely on Super 16 MM, even if i knew that the production costs were going to go higher, I think it was worth it shooting in a place like Ecuador because there has never been a Gay and Lesbian movie produced in Ecuador touching this story, and shooting it in this specific format.
People here are still very much in the closet, both in terms of sexual orientation and religion, and to touch these subject matters here seemed absolutely right. I am a gay film maker, and i love spoiling other people’s parties with something new, and visually striking. Then, as i was writing the story, there where small things that changed in terms of the story line of the screenplay, and as I made different drafts, scenes got scrapped out and others came in, even when production arrived, I felt i had a shooting script ready to be shot. Then came principal photography, where we made slight adjustments to the story, because for instance, a picture taxi cab that was supposed to arrive on set never did, but i guess this is part of production life. I have to say that I was able to carry the main idea I had when I was thinking of writing the screenplay while still being in Europe.
What type of feedback have you received so far?
Aside from Ecuador, we have screened this film internationally in the United States, Argentina, Colombia, Switzerland and Canada and audiences have been wonderful about it, but to my surprise, in within Ecuadorian audiences, the feedback was great. The predominant feedback I got was that people loved the story and the visuals. Quite oddly, I did have some weird episodes in pre production, specially when casting for the main character occurred, where some actors before they sat in front of the camera and began reading their lines stated to me that if the story involved kissing another man they would not do the part. I think I showed the door to a number of actors who showed me that negative attitude. I just could not understand why would someone shoot himself in the foot, even before the camera that was used for the casting was not rolling. Why would anyone quit himself before given a unique opportunity is beyond my comprehension. Then came Vincent, and the moment i saw him perform in front of that camera, I knew I had to search no further. He became Jackie.
Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
Quite frankly, yes. I thought that audiences were going to react more negatively but most were very surprised. Like i said, most of the negativity came in pre production. We were forbidden to use certain locations because of the story line, but the locations we ended up using worked marvelously well.
What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on www.wearemovingstories.com
I love visibility. All outlets for this purpose are extraordinary. Reaching out to globalized audiences is extraordinary.
Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?
Well, i think that this film has completed its main course. It is a film i showcase to other people to show them what I am capable of doing, so I use it as a calling card. Now I'm focused on bigger projects, but if a sales agent or buyer comes along and wants to buy and promote this film for distribution, i would be absolutely delighted. I would also be interested in international producers looking for new talent for future collaborations. Maybe someone could watch this and he or she can approach me for workor collaborations. That would be extraordinary as well.
What type of impact and/or reception would you like this film to have?
Hopefully positive, in whatever outlets it is on at the moment such as youtube and so on. Homophobia is never good, and visibility for me and my work is extraordinarily appreciated.
What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this film?
Should the church be more open in terms of accepting different sexual preferences. Can the church re adjust its backwards mentality and be more open in accepting other lifestyles.
What are the key creatives developing or working on now?
Starting with me, I'm writing a Mexican cop drama and reading a novel i want to adapt it into a screenplay while working as a photographer. I just landed a gig as a set photographer in a local feature film to be shot here in Ecuador this November. The main lead, Vincent Kerschbaum is living in London and working full time as a theater and film actor. Most of my crew have been involved in making other feature films, so people have been busy these years.
Interview: September 2016
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Freedom is a costly endeavor worth taking.
Length> 15 mins 25 seconds
Director: Jose Ignacio Correa
Producer: Jose ignacio Correa and EICAR The International Film School of Paris
Writer: Jose Ignacio Correa
About the writer, director and producer:
Born May 24, 1979 in Quito, Ecuador, Jose Ignacio Correa is an award winning Ecuadorian film director, screenwriter and photographer with international educational and professional experience in France, Canada, the United States and Ecuador.
Earning a Master of Fine Arts degree in Film Directing and Screenwriting in EICAR (Paris, France, 2010), his short films have screened in numerous film festivals around the world, including: The Ecuador Gay and Lesbian Film Festival "El Lugar Sin Limites" (Quito, Ecuador, 2011), Pink Apple Film Festival (Zurich, Switzerland, 2012), Vancouver Queer Film Festival (Vancouver, Canada, 2012), Libercine Argentina Queer Film Festival (Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2013), Q Film festival (Long Beach, California, U.S.A. 2014), earning numerous awards such as: Best Ecuadorian short film, at the Ecuador Gay and Lesbian Film Festival "El Lugar Sin Limites" (Quito, Ecuador, 2011), and the Hot Short ́s OUT TV Audience award for best short film, at the Vancouver Queer Film Festival (Vancouver, Canada, 2012).
In 2013, upon returning to South America, Jose embarked himself into photography, as a parallel visual expression to film making. While writing two feature length screenplays, he not only enrolled at the Centro De La Imagen CIAF photo center in Quito, but has worked with established local construction companies and architectural firms, photographing buildings in construction and finished projects for architectural catalogues. In portraiture, his works have been showcased in a number of exhibitions across the city of Quito. In November 2014, He was invited to be the head jury in the documentary selection of the 2014 Ecuador International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival "El Lugar Sin Limites”. In the summer of 2015, Jose attended an intensive six week program at the UCLA Film-Theatre-Television school in Los Angeles, California, for an intensive six week program in digital cinematography.
Presently, he divides his time between photography and the continuation of the writing of his two feature length screenplays He is fluent in English, Spanish and French .
Looking for (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists):
Looking for buyers, journalists and distributors
Funders: Jose Ignacio Correa
Made in association with: EICAR The International Film School of Paris
Release date: April 20 2012
Where can I watch it in the next month?