Meet the Team Behind ‘Enloquecer,' the First-Year Film Making Waves on the Festival Circuit
Enloquecer, a first-year film from Screenwriting student Hector Prats, has been lighting up the local festival scene and shows no signs of stopping.
Loosely based on his own experiences, Enloquecer is a dark comedy that follows a music video director who, after losing her lead actor at the last minute, goes to extreme measures to get her new talent to perform, pushing her team and the whole production to the brink of madness.
The film was produced by Creative Producing students Yoko Kohmoto and Kaelo Iyizoba, and had its world premiere at the 2022 Nitehawk Shorts Festival. Since then, Enloquecer has gone on to screen at festivals such as Palm Springs ShortFest, Tacoma Film Festival, Crown Heights Film Festival, and Bushwick Film Festival. It also recently premiered online on Short of the Week and snagged a coveted spot as a Vimeo Staff Pick, which is a curated selection of the best shorts on the internet.
Enloquecer served as Prats and Kohmoto’s first-year capstone project, better known as the 8-12 film project. For this project, screenwriter/directors pair up with creative producers in the program to create a short film project under 12 minutes in length. It marks the second major film project in the program, and is an important opportunity for students in both concentrations to find the collaborators they will continue to work with well into their thesis years and beyond.
“After meeting Yoko in person, her comedic energy and sharp work predisposition quickly indicated to me that she was the right collaborator for the projects I wanted to make in New York,” Prats said. “We became fast friends, and after shooting our first music video and short film together, I floated to her the crazy story of Enloquecer. She became an indispensable part of the project.”
The music video project Prats mentions actually marked Kohmoto’s first foray into producing: “Hector was the first person ever in my life to trust me with producing something, which obviously means a lot, and Enloquecer was the third project we’ve worked on together.”
The film also features work from several fellow students, including Directing students Michael Cong (Cinematographer and Colorist) and Murdo Barker-Mill (Actor), Screenwriting students Derin Çelik (Assistant Director) and María Cristina Marrero (Covid Compliance Officer), and Creative Producing student Heather Francis (Covid Compliance Officer). Francis and Kohmoto served as extras on the film as well.
Filmed over three days in NYC, the shoot presented rewarding challenges that brought the crew even closer together:
“I really believe in good energy bringing good luck, especially in something as intense as a film shoot,” Kohmoto said. “Each and every person in this cast and crew brought major good vibes to the three days of filming, and we had each other’s backs the whole time. Despite the unexpected rain and extreme heat, we had great luck with the shoot, like finding the perfect parking spots and making friends with the everyday park-goers. It also made for such a fun shoot, which we’ve heard audience members say comes across while watching the film.”
Prats is excited to continue the film’s festival run and build towards what will come next for him as a filmmaker.
“We are greatly grateful for the festival run Enloquecer has been having so far,” Prats said. “Each festival is a step that takes us to the next one. For us, this is more than a recognition of the effort we put in the project, but also an opportunity to display our style of work and to take it further into long-form projects like feature films and series. Now that Enloquecer is public online, we hope it serves us as a letter of presentation to take on new absurd comedy projects.”
Hector Prats is a director and screenwriter born in Barcelona, Spain, currently pursuing an MFA in Film at Columbia University, New York, after receiving an Obra Social La Caixa fellowship. During his time in Spain, Hector worked as a music video and commercial director. He directed the short films Caçador and Bones in the Waters, collaborating with local musical artists. He is currently in post-production with his new short film, Heaven is Nobody’s. His stories dive into the altered reality of strange, obsessive characters, as well as touching notes of mysticism and absurd humor, all always guided by the world-inspiring presence of music. Find him @hectorpratsc on Instagram.
Yoko Kohmoto is a producer-writer pursuing an MFA in Creative Producing at Columbia University. Her priorities as a producer are to build community, ensure safety, and uplift marginalized voices. Since pivoting to film, she has produced shorts that have been selected for Vimeo Staff Pick, Palm Springs ShortFest, and Wisconsin Film Festival, among several others. She is most recently a recipient of the Arthur Krim Memorial Scholarship at Columbia. As a writer, she focuses on comedy both as a vehicle for discussing societal issues and as just a way to have a good time. Having grown up in both Japan and the United States, Kohmoto is proud to bring a nuanced and global perspective to her work. Find her @middleofanegg on Twitter and Instagram.
Kaelo Iyizoba is a Nigerian-American Filmmaker currently pursuing an MFA in Film at Columbia University, New York. He was a practicing pharmacist before he found his voice through film. His work explores the concept of identity, specifically on "otherness" and what it means to belong. He is committed to making work that allows us to see pieces of ourselves in others. Iyizoba was cited by Buzzfeed as one of four up and coming Black filmmakers shaping the future of the industry. He is a winner of the Arthur Krim award for excellence in producing at Columbia University, a Blackhouse-Meta fellow and a Facebook SEEN future filmmaker grant recipient. In 2022, Iyizoba spoke on a panel at the Sundance Film Festival.