Two Films by Students Premiere at the 2021 Sarasota Film Festival
BY Daniel Beltis , May 7, 2021
Two films written and directed by Film students are premiering at the Sarasota Film Festival from April 30 to May 9, 2021. The films are: La Virgen, La Vieja, El Viaje, written and directed by student Natalia Luque and produced by alumna Marta Cruañas Compés '20, and Harana, written and directed by aluman Marie Jamora '05.
Harana is about a character called Maya who is a cover band singer in a Las Vegas casino-hotel lounge, trying to connect with her daughter who is growing up in the Philippines without her. Wrestling between her passion for songwriting and becoming a pop-culture photocopy for a neglectful audience, she realizes that music—the one thing that keeps them distant—can also bring them closer together. Watch the trailer here.
La Virgen, La Vieja, El Viaje is about Rocío, a Colombian immigrant living in New York who is forced to work as a cleaner. After a phone call with her family, she learns that her grandmother is severely ill and is about to pass away. While communicating at a distance becomes more difficult, Rocío has no choice but to rely on technology to say farewell to her grandmother. Watch the trailer here.
Born and raised in Manila, Philippines, writer-director Marie Jamora has just gotten her television directorial debut with Ava DuVernay’s award-winning Queen Sugar on the OWN Network. Jamora was also named one of “Five Visionary Asian-American Female Filmmakers” in Kore Magazine's 'New Hollywood' issue. Her short film, Flip the Record, screened at over thirty festivals worldwide, winning the Grand Jury Award for Best Narrative Short at Urbanworld and her first feature, What Isn’t There (Ang Nawawala), premiered at the Slamdance Film Festival. She is an executive producer and the director of both seasons of Family Style, an Asian food and pop culture show with Justin Lin's Yomyomf and Warner Bros./Stage 13. Jamora became the first Filipinx director to be accepted into AFI's Directing Workshop for Women, where she wrote and directed Harana, which was in competition at Bentonville, BlackStar, Urbanworld, and HollyShorts.
Natalia Luque is a Chilean writer and director who is completing her Film MFA at Columbia University. Her short film Soy Sola screened at several film festivals in Latin America, Europe and the USA. In 2019 she was granted the Jury Award on the DGA Student Competition. Currently, she’s developing her first feature film, Señorita de Buena Presencia and distributing her latest short film La Virgen, La Vieja, El Viaje.
Marta Cruañas Compés is a New York-based, Barcelona-born producer. She holds an MFA in Creative Producing from Columbia University for which she was awarded the Obra Social La Caixa fellowship. In 2016, she was invited to participate at the IFFR Rotterdam Lab. After a praised festival circuit run of her first feature, Julia Ist, Compés was helmed by Variety Magazine as “a 2007 upcoming Catalan Filmmaker to Watch”. Compés’s recently produced projects include short film Carnicore (Executive produced by Cary Fukunaga), Solastalgia (recipient of a 2020 NY Women in Film Grant), and Forarestra, selected for La Semaine de la Critique of the Cannes Film Festival 2020, and a 2021 Columbia University Film Festival Jury Select.