Mexperiences in LA

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I was born and raised in Mexico City; the chaotic, beautiful, and culturally rich capital of Mexico which offers an education in itself.  An education about the complexity of human beings, the power of culture and religion, and the wisdom of history.  Influenced by the myriad of colors, sounds, and tastes that the Mexican culture offers, I’ve developed an artistic perspective that is deeply rooted in my upbringings from this enormous city.

Mexico has a rich culture, millions of talented people, and an endless amount of artistic possibilities. Yet, reality is far from the idyllic. The film industry in Mexico is underdeveloped. Once being an influential and respectable industry, it now encourages talented filmmakers to pursue their goals far from home. The lack of education and support for young adults make art careers an unbearable goal. Thus, countless of talents and opportunities are wasted.

Moreover, the national television’s programming in Mexico, the only source of entertainment for most, is full of soap operas that encourage ignorant behaviors. TV raises children while working mothers brave the everyday struggle. Entire generations in Mexico are impacted by these programs which are based on stereotypes that unconsciously instill ideas of shallow and superficial values within society that define the status quo, encouraging society to accept the proposed paradigms that these programs impose, and limiting society from evolving to a nonconformist one.  Furthermore, issues such as censorship and proscribed free-speech are problems Mexico currently endures due to the high levels of corruption and concealed information. The government marionettes the TV monopoly, and, as a result, Mexico has turned into a sea of blood of journalists. Such atrocities are no less than the result of a country that utilizes information to serve themselves while stepping over their citizen’s right to speak and live.

Unlike many people my age, the situation of my country worries me greatly and I feel a tremendous responsibility to take advantage of these circumstances to pursue my dreams. I firmly believe education is the only factor that has the power to allow a country to grow and prosper. With film being my greatest passion, I endeavor to reinvent my country through film for I believe that the powerful, immediate, and visual properties of film with the right messages can bring about the change and consciousness that countless of Mexican and people worldwide need.

I believe film has the power to unite humanity, grant a voice to the voiceless, stand up to injustice, demonstrate multiple perceptions, eradicate stereotypes, and push the human race forward. Leaders such as Diego Luna, Alfonso Cuarón, and Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu, have already started the quest to redirect film to become a vehicle of change. I aspire to follow their steps to use film to change the world and pave the way for many other advocators to join the fight of this worthy cause. 

This summer I am interning at Canana, one of the most important film production companies in Latin America, as well as the leading Mexican film production company that creates films impregnated in the values of art.  Headquartered in Mexico City and Los Angeles, Canana was founded by prominent Mexican icons of the entertainment industry Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna.  Pablo Cruz, another renowned Mexican producer, joined the team a little after.  Canana has produced several award-winning films that also happen to raise awareness on serious issues, such as immigration and sexual slavery, giving a voice to those who need it the most.

During my search for potential internships, Canana crossed my mind because I believe that interning here, unlike any other internship, would offer me the opportunity to learn how the film production company of the Mexican filmmakers and role models I admire the most is managed and works.  Mexican filmmakers who are already established in the country where the most influential films are made and who carry within them the stories that Mexico craves to tell the world.  Canana’s films reflect the values of art and have the social influence that I aspire to create one day through my own films.

At Canana I have been working mainly in the story department, analyzing scripts and writing coverage, as well as doing story research.  Since many of the stories that Canana produces deal with serious social issues that are huge in Latin American societies, many of the script coverages I write involve stories grounded in big social problems, which inspire me to come up with ideas for the stories I want to one day tell through film in order to raise awareness and inspire a positive change.  At my internship I also have other responsibilities, among them, answering the phone, checking the mail, office management, and contacting agents and producers.  All these have made this experience very exciting as it has given me a sense of what it feels like to be in the industry, among talented visionaries who share my same roots.  Interning here will further my efforts of being a purposeful filmmaker who wants to tell powerful stories through film, and thus serve as an inspiration to those who need it the most.

I remember my first day at my internship.  I was a complete mixture of excitement, nervousness, and confidence.  It didn’t take me long to feel comfortable in the easy going atmosphere that Canana’s office radiates.  I also felt very grateful for having been granted with several big responsibilities that I did not expect as a first-time-intern to have, such as writing coverage for scripts that could potentially be directed by one of Canana’s executives.  In terms of nerve-racking experiences, I’d like to mention when I first called an agent to ask for a DP’s availability I felt as if I had forgotten my English, and forgot to ask all the vital questions.  I’ve certainly been getting better over time.

In addition to my experience at Canana, living in LA has offered me more than an internship.  It has allowed me to visit several places and attend events that directly relate to my career goals.  That is the case of tours at the Paramount Picture Studios and Warner Bros Studios, as well as events held by NALIP, an organization that addresses the needs of Latino producers and promotes Latino media development.  Also, by being an NYU Tisch student in the Summer in LA Program,  through the weekly gatherings that my fellow students and me have, I’ve had the opportunity of meeting and talking with respectable members of the entertainment industry such as Tom Lassally, executive at 3 Arts Entertainment, and director Jack Bender who has worked in TV shows such as Lost and Game of Thrones.  So far, LA has been a great place to further my development as a filmmaker.  Yet, I still find myself being caught in the plans of entering a long-term relationship with New York.