PANAMA — Mexican director Lucia Carreras is prepping her next project, “Nudo Mixteco,” to be directed by Angeles Cruz, the lead actress in Carreras’s “Tamara & the Ladybug.”
The work recently won the biggest and newest award at the Guadalajara’s Co-Prod Meeting – the Cinema 226 Prize, which guarantees completion financing from Cinema 226. It also tapped a scholarship to Chile’s Residencia Laboratorio Audiovisual Valdivia, audio services from Encore Sound, image post-production from Cinema Maquina, Cero Post VFX work, and music oversight and recording from Panoram.
The pic will be produced by the new production outfit, Madrecine, founded by Carreras, Cruz and Lola Ovando, in order to develop their own films, focused on issues of gender, diversity issues and minorities.
The pic will be Cruz’s first feature film, after directing two shorts. Her first short – “La tiricia ou como curar a tristeza” (The Doldrums or How to Cure Sadness), made in 2012, won a Mexican Academy Ariel Award for best short film and features the stories of three women, Ita, Justa and Alicia – grandmother, mother and daughter – who at different times have suffered, tolerated and allowed abuse. Cruz also directed “La carta” (The Letter) in 2015. Cruz and Carreras also co-wrote another short in the lead-up to shooting “Tamara.”
“Nudo” is set in a community of indigenous group in the Mixtec region, in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico. Cruz herself is from the Mixtec community in this zone. She wrote the screenplay, which interweaves the stories of three local women – a mother, a lesbian and a woman making a fresh start in life – as they battle for more freedom in their lives and sexuality.
The word “Nudo” means “knot” in the local language and the area got this name because it has a range of mountains that seem to be knotted together, just as the story of the three main characters is also linked together.
Carreras and Cruz explained that the project is currently in development: They aim to shoot next year, they hope as an international co-production. Carreras is working on two screenplays which she says will explore issues of womanhood and loneliness, but she says that “Nudo” is her main current priority.
Cruz sasid that the indigenous communities in Mexico are very closed, with a strong tradition of machismo, which means that women often don’t have their own voice, and traditionally can’t decide when to divorce, or how to live their lives.
In “Nudo.” they combat their own community to take control of their lives. “The film itself is like a knot,” said Cruz. “The three characters are involved in the main annual event in the community, the patron saint’s day and this is when the three stories converge.”
Carreras added: “One of the interesting things of this movie is that she’s not showing Mexican culture seen from the outside, we normally see indigenous communities portrayed from the outside. She’s talking about her own community.”
The film will use non-actors from the local community with whom they previously worked with in a short film. The decors and wardrobe will all be authentic.
“Angeles is approaching this story in a very honest and contemporary manner,” said Carreras. “She has an inside vision. It’s a lot more honest and close. We don’t want to adopt a folklore vision. Our main challenge is to tell a story.”
“The situation of the women in this story is extremely important to me,” continued Cruz. “I want to tell the story in a way that can link to the world. Because women face the same problems everywhere in the world.”