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“The Reason I Make Films Has Been Reinforced by the Pandemic” | Alejandro Loayza Grisi, Utama

still from Utama by Alejandro Loayza GrisiStill from Utama by Alejandro Loayza Grisi

The last two years have prompted much contemplation and reconsideration of the reasons why we make our films as well as the ways in which we make them. What aspect of your filmmaking—whether in your creative process, the way you finance your films, your production methodology or the way you relate to your audience—did you have to reinvent in order to make and complete the film you are bringing to the festival this year?

Among all the ways people had to live during the pandemic, mine was undoubtedly one of the privileged ones, and I feel grateful for how lucky I am. During the pandemic I was able to work on my film’s post-production. And although my world went into an unexpected pause, I was able to use the time to think of ideas and projects for the future.

Actually, the reason I make films has been reinforced by the pandemic, because I believe in the power of stories. They have power to bring us closer, to empathize and to understand each other better. These times demand that we pay attention to all realities and not just the one we have in our town, city or country—and much less the one we have in our social media echo chambers.

I have yet to see what the public’s relationship with Utama will be, but I am looking forward to it. Online screening modes are like everything else: they have pros and cons. They opens new possibilities and perhaps larger audiences, but we lose the personalization of those shared experiences. Despite being physically far away from the Sundance audiences, I will strive to be close to anyone who wants to ask me anything about the film.

See all responses to our annual Sundance Question here.

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