Mexico: Up Next! – Lucero Sanchez

Borne out of a personal experience, Lucero Sanchez’s evocative half-hour “Mauve” turns on an eight-year-old’s first brush with death when she witnesses her best friend’s fatal accident, and struggles to process her grief.

Delicately shot by fellow CCC-alumnus Juan Pablo Ramirez, “Mauve” explores themes of melancholy, loneliness, death, and most importantly, the inner life of girls.

“Making this was a cathartic experience,” Sanchez admits. When she was 14, her best friend was run over by a drunken police officer. “Mauve” is dedicated to this friend whose life was cut short so unfairly. “I seek to find beauty in horror and the sublime in pain,” Sanchez muses.

As the daughter of two notable filmmakers, vet producer and Imcine head Jorge Sanchez and Maria Novaro (who has a cameo in “Mauve”), Sanchez, now aged 29, had to find her own career path. After graduating from high school she disconnected from home, spending two years in France and England, doing odd jobs, and resisting the siren call of film. But once she returned, she enrolled in the Centro de Capacitacion Cinematografica (CCC), Mexico’s prime incubator of new talent. She made her first short, “Miel,” in three days as part of her CCC studies. “Mauve” is her thesis short, a CCC production, but which Monica Lozano’s Alebrije Producciones (“ Instructions Not Included”) backed via a CCC tax incentive. Two weeks before shooting “Mauve,” Sanchez got into a car accident that broke some vertebrae, but that didn’t stop her from directing the short in a half-body cast.

She’s always worked with animals and children, despite what’s said about how problematic they are on set. “You just need patience and luck,” she says. Having a special bond with her niece, who plays the lead, also helped.

Her upcoming debut feature, “Las Olas” (“The Waves”) will dwell on the emotional lives of three sisters who spend the summer with their estranged marine biologist father in Baja California. The issue will be its financing as she can’t tap Imcine funds given her father’s position. Her options are to find co-producers, tap foreign film funds or Mexico’s Eficine tax incentives for private film investors. “I’ll get it done somehow,” she says. “If there’s one thing I’ve inherited from my parents, it’s obstinacy.”

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