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Jonás Trueba • Director

“I live with insecurity by making my own, unrestricted films”


- Spanish director Jonás Trueba took home the Special Jury Prize from the 18th Málaga Spanish Film Festival with his third movie, Los exiliados románticos

Jonás Trueba  • Director

Spanish director Jonás Trueba, the youngest member of the famous family of filmmakers, was in competition in the official section of the 18th Málaga Spanish Film Festival, from which he went home clutching the Special Jury Prize for his third movie, Los exiliados románticos [+see also:
film review
interview: Jonás Trueba
film profile
. We chatted to him.

Cineuropa: You come from a family of filmmakers who were able to rely on production for their movies, but in your latest film, you stuck a load of pals in a van and went off to shoot in France.
Jonás Trueba:
 I have never had the calling to be iconoclastic or revolutionary. I have tried to shoot the films that I felt like shooting and that I was able to make. When I began making films, my situation was different to that of my Uncle David – who started in the 1990s, a time when there was more money and resources available – and that of my father, Fernando. Perhaps my circumstances were more similar to those of my dad, because he started out in the 1980s and did very different things. I filmed my first movie on 35 mm, the second on 16 mm and this one, my third, with a photo camera: each time with fewer days and a smaller budget. And I’m not complaining: I have tried to live with that general insecurity by making my own, unrestricted films. I wouldn’t like to spend my whole life making movies on a non-existent budget, but rather with funding: that’s what I aspire to.

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Because I imagine that you can’t make a living from films like The Wishful Thinkers or Los exiliados románticos…
I live off giving directing lessons, and the people who work on my films are not going to be able to make a living from them. I think when the next one comes around, I’ll be able to count on having more backing, and I’ll be able to pay my cast and crew a fair salary: that’s very important.

In your movies, everything is done simply for the fun of it…
Yes, we try to create experiences so that that “fun of it” does not run out; we do not get involved in impossible projects, but rather in films that we can make, that are experiences that are worth the effort, even though they may be made in unstable conditions. To that end, I create optimal working conditions. In this case we had three cars, the actors, six crew members and a costume budget of €1.40, which turned out great.

What kind of distribution will Los exiliados románticos have: will you be repeating the model of going around presenting it in theatres, like you did with The Wishful Thinkers?
With The Wishful Thinkers, we felt that the best way of offering it to the viewer was to go from theatre to theatre, because we were aware that not a single distributor would have offered us a standard screening, which is a little dispiriting and not very creative, so that’s why I’m not particularly interested in going that way. With this title, we joined forces with CineBinario: young, romantic distributors who love cinema. We are considering how we will distribute it: each film has its own needs, and this one, which is more immediate, will follow a different path.

You are involved in the Unión de Cineastas (the Union of Filmmakers)… Are different actions like theirs – which are both educational and informative – necessary?
Yes, today more than ever before, because when you talk about the problems with Spanish cinema you have to fight the battle from a different side, because you can fall into the dogmatism that cinema has to be a particular way. The Union of Filmmakers is a meeting point that attempts to find a common ground through merging ideas that can exist side by side; they don’t have to clash with one another. We are eager to fight for a kind of cinema in which there is room for everyone and which is more diverse, and we don’t want to stop at a critical rhetoric that serves as a protest, but rather one that is more proactive and creative.

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(Translated from Spanish)

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