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“My film mirrors the immigrant experience”

Director Antonio Mendez Esparza’s film Here And There was screened to a warm reception at the MFF. He can’t stop feeling happy

Attractive Programming

I arrived in Mumbai on Monday and have got busy with presenting my film to the audience in Mumbai. I have not had a chance to watch any films yet. I wanted to see The Hunt today. I also wanted to watch some Indian films. The overall programming is very, very tempting. There’s just so much to see!

Getting Funds

Initially, I thought raising the money to make a film was easy because I thought it would not cost a whole lot. After a while, I realised it is much more expensive than I had imagined. Then things got complicated and in the end it became very, very expensive. People were always asking, ‘How can this cost so much?’ We were very lucky to have the support of the Sundance Film Institute in the US.  They selected our film for the screenwriter’s lab. Their support gave us some sort of validation although the funding from them was not very big. Once they were helping us with the script, Here And There became a prestigious project. It got investors thinking. They felt that if the project was worth coming to MFF, it must be interesting.

Born in Spain, raised in Madrid and now living in Mexico.

The influence of living in different parts of the world does creep into your film, although not in a conscious way. But the realisation dawns on you only after the film is complete. Later, you wonder what brought you to that point. While living in the States, I gradually became more interested in the lives of immigrants. I started talking to them and established a relationship with them. Unconsciously, my film does mirror the immigrant experience.

Documentary-Style Narrative

That’s because I wanted to make the film as realistic as possible but the reason you think it is a documentary-style narrative is because I have cast non-actors. There are very simple, non-dramatic things happening in the film. However, the fact of the matter is that Here And There is not a documentary.

Warm Response

After winning the first prize at the programme ‘International Critic’s week’ at the Cannes Film Festival in 2012, I am very pleased with the response I have received at MFF. The reaction was very good and tremendously warm. I am very happy. I am very touched.

Division Into segments

Dividing my film into segments helped structure the narrative, which was initially very lose. While filming it, I was open to anything happening to my movie but you cannot be open to everything because then you cannot end a film. So I had these very specific segments that defined what would happen in the film and where it would go.

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