Making of 'Los Años Azules', Dir.
Photo: Michel Amado

Guadalajara-based scribe-helmer co-wrote Samuel Kishi Leopo's ‘We Are Mari Pepa’

Director of “The Blue Years,” one of seven entries at this weekend’s 10thGuadalajara Construye pix-in-post competition, Mexico’s Sofia Gómez Cordova is prepping her sophomore directorial effort, a thriller, written by Cuban mentor and friend Arturo Arango, scribe of Juan Carlos Tabío’s “Horn of Plenty, which scored a Special Jury Prize at Argentina’s Mar del Plata. Titled “Nunca estuvo solo,” (“On Hold”), it narrates the virtual kidnapping of an university professor, as many Mexicans protest against Mexico’s lack of security, on the anniversary of the Mexican Revolution. “It’s a thriller, a genre that inspires a lot of respect,” Gomez Cordova told Variety.

Gómez is also co-writing Samuel Kishi Leopo’s second feature film, “Los vientos de Santa Ana,” and editing “Tío Yim,” a feature documentary directed by Luna Marán, producer of “Years.”

Produced by Guadalajara’s Bruja Azul and Teonanacatl Audiovisual, and mostly financed via Mexican crowd-company Fondeadora, “Years” portrays a young generation of Mexican wannabe artists who share a house. A collective coming-of-ager, the characters treatment underlines personal doubts and crises rather than socio-economic factors.

The ramshackle house and its only permanent inhabitant, a cat, witness the arrival of a new charismatic tenant and his co-habitation with five other young lodgers during a “brief period they spend together which unites them briefly as a dysfunctional family, sharing passions, fears, frustrations and plans for a future as uncertain as the house in which they live,” Gómez told Variety.

Characters’ passions contrast with the ramshackle old house that shows clear signs of decline. Key cast includes Paloma Domínguez, Juan Carlos Huguenin, Ilse Orozco, Luis Velázquez and Natalia Gómez.

Aguascalientes-born Gómez studied cinema at Guadalajara’s university, where she now teaches. She co-wrote Samuel Kishi Leopo’s “We Are Mari Pepa” –a contender at 2014 Berlinale Generation 14plus, and best opera prima at the Miami Festival. Gómez has directed five shorts –including “La última batalla contra las malditas palomas” and “Día de campo.” She co-edited Carolina Platt’s “La hora de la siesta,” and Alicia Calderon’s “Retratos de una búsqueda,” as well as a string of shorts.

Based out of Guadalajara, lacking considerable private capital resources and removed from state centralized resources, Gomez and her fellow filmmakers created a collective. Facilities companies boarded as co-producers, giving services in return for a participation in the production.

“We tried to take advantage of what many consider a weakness – our distance from Mexico’s central funding systems – to increase our freedom and create a production community in our cities that can serve as a fertile base for the following generations, and could eventually become something worth calling an industry which will be able to produce a diversity of films in line with our country’s diversity,” Gómez explained.

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