Festival de Cine Global Dominicano
150th ANNIVERSARY OF THE BATTLE OF PUEBLA CELEBRATED WITH THE FILM CINCO DE MAYO

Lara, who was also the screenwriter and editor of the film, attended the screening to introduce his work and also take part in a discussion with the audience after it was shown.

150th ANNIVERSARY OF THE BATTLE OF PUEBLA CELEBRATED WITH THE FILM CINCO DE MAYO

(Santo Domingo, November 14, 2013)  The film Cinco de Mayo: The Battle, by Mexican director Rafa Lara, was screened as part of the 7th edition of the Dominican Republic Global Film Festival (FCGD) in honor of the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Puebla and based on combat which occurred in 1862 between Mexico and the second French Empire. 

Lara, who was also the screenwriter and editor of the film, attended the screening to introduce his work and also take part in a discussion with the audience after it was shown.

“I had to get familiar with the history and felt like a laboratory rat in studying the entire battle, to seek the truth behind a story that has been sold often with a lot that was made up. This story is about the unsung heroes who are never been spoken of,” he said.

The director shared all the details of the pre- and post-production processes in which he stressed the importance that this projection be perceived as a real experience.

“For me the biggest challenge was trying to make the viewer feel part of the battle, so I did not use computer effects, cranes or dollies for cameras and devoted more than 45 minutes out of the entire movie to battle scenes,” he said.

Cinco de Mayo: The Battle was shot over 9 months at a total budget of $10,000,000 dollars. For this production, made completely in Mexico, more than 800 people took part just in the action using more than 1,000 special costumes and 35 makeup artists. It also had the support of a Hollywood sound engineer who installed technical equipment and sound consoles to receive over 200 channels of audio sound in the production.

Lara also commented on the difficulty of working with animals due to their instability, highlighting his experience of recording with more than 140 horses on set, only 15 of which were properly trained. Some of these animals were provided by the Mexican Army.

José Ignacio Piña, Mexican Ambassador to the Dominican Republic, also attended the screening and the discussion group. He shared his satisfaction at seeing how Mexican cinema is expanding each day across the world thanks to these kinds of Festivals.

Addressing a question made ​​by Piña, the Mexican film director shared his view on the state of cinema in Mexico.

“What is happening in Mexican cinema is a generational shift, in which we have many young people who have wanted to follow in the footsteps of great Mexican directors like Alfonso Cuaron, who just presented his film Gravity, which incidentally I understand to be a great masterpiece of Latin American cinema.  We are emerging, and we also know there will be others who will be better and have superior ideas. However we should always give opportunity for those who come behind to grow,” Lara said, referring to the opportunity he received to lead the project over other, more experienced directors.

Lara motivated all the students who were present to live their passion for film, highlighting the moment when he started to become involved in the world of filmmaking and life experiences. The Mexican director, writer and editor began to work in the industry at age 16 and became involved professionally at 21.

This showing was an initiative of the Mexican State of Puebla to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Puebla.

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Fundación Global Democracia y Desarrollo - FUNGLODE

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