Attention span is something “La Calesita” filmmaker Augusto Schillaci was aware of when making his short film thanks to test audiences. “If it felt like four minutes and a half, then I knew my pacing was good,” Schillaci said.

The director was joined by fellow short film contenders, PH Dallaire and Ben Therriault (“Canary”), Victor Gabriel (“Hallelujah”), George-Alex Nagle (“Mate)” and “We Are Here” directors Constanza and Doménica Castro to break down the difficulties of creating a short narrative on Variety’s Streaming Room.

When it came to telling the story of undocumented immigrants in “We Are Here,” Doménica Castro says the biggest challenge for her and her co-director Constanza was truncating such a huge conversation into a nine-minute window.

“As we went into the interviews and as we delved into the stories, we realized that we needed more time because there’s the 30-minute cut, then there’s the 22-minute cut, and it was so difficult to scale back,” Castro said. “We knew that we had to be fair to the narrative, but also fair to the audience in terms of how much was enough to show without being self-indulgent.”

The idea of opening the world to shorter stories but with larger narratives that could impact real change is the ethos behind the Castros production company 271 Films. “We’re trying to change the lens of what storytelling in Hollywood have been,” said Castro. “We are committed to representation, both in front and behind the camera, to open doors and we are empowering the next generation of BIPOC filmmakers.”

Watch the full conversation about creating big waves with little time, above.