“It is very important for me that my films add a value to this world we live in, either through the drama, comedy or horror. Providing seeds of consciousness and giving questions to think about.” –Carlos Ocho
Carlos Ocho is a filmmaker based in Barcelona, Spain. His short film “Open Relationship” was included in Queer Bits Fall Film Festival last November and his film “My Reality” will be screened during Queer Bits Summer Film Festival which is on June 1st, 2015 at 7:30PM at The Public House Theatre. Tickets can be purchased at BrownPaperTickets.com.
Carlos answered some questions posed by PFP Artistic Associate Nelson Rodriguez.
Nelson Rodriguez: What inspired you to be a filmmaker? What continues to inspire you?
Carlos Ocho: When I was 14 years old, I wanted to be an actor, and I started doing small plays in my village. Then I studied four years of interpretation during my college days, but [then] I had to stop and focus on finishing my studies in Economics basically because of money. Likewise, I still loved it a lot. I’ve been swallowing cinema nonstop since the age of 14. When I was 26, I moved to Barcelona [and] a good friend of mine gave me a video camera as a gift. I started by doing some small projects / amateur short films with the help of my friends. At that moment I felt I had much more to say behind the camera than in front of it. People wanted more and more every day so it was then when I decided to write and direct my first short film for festivals called “My Reality.”
It inspires me a lot to see my films as a message to reach other people’s hearts, also see that they are recognized by the audience and the film festivals where I am selected, and above it all, I think cinema is a great tool to transmit emotions.
NR: Give us some insight into being a filmmaker based in Barcelona.
CO: Barcelona is an ideal place to get into the world of cinema. If I was still living in my town, I [would have] never done anything like that. There are very good movies made in Barcelona and Catalonia. There are also very good film schools, auditions, opportunities, shootings … and luckily, AVE or planes take you to Madrid so fast nowadays, which is the other great foundation for the cinema in our country.
CO: First I have to mention that it is a great honor to have had my last two films screened at your film festival. With “Open Relationship,” I’m doing much better at film festivals. But I think this is because it was made with a bigger budget and a better camera (Red One) and festivals notice that. Today “Open Relationship” has already 34 festival selections around the world and an audience award for best short film in Grenoble (France). It has been also screened in well-known gay-themed festivals [in] Brazil, San Francisco (Frameline Film Festival), Amsterdam, Budapest, Athens, Chicago, Melbourne, and I feel like it is a true honor. Especially because it can reach more viewers’ hearts if they are screened in [these] kind of places. “My Reality” has 10 selections, including LGBT Film Festival in Turin, which is the most important gay festival here in Europe and where I had the pleasure to present it in person. It’s a great festival. I was treated very well. Turin is a beautiful place and I have very good memories of that trip.
CO: “My Reality” was born from an intense emotional process I was having at the time. It is the mix of two different ideas: What if someone was unable to process a break-up and the fact of moving-on was too much for him so he just decided not to… What would happen then? It merged with the second idea: What if someone didn’t interpret self-help books the correct way? That certainly generated a Molotov cocktail in my mind which I thought was really intense and intriguing enough to write a script. It has also a lot of my personal experience and it shows; but it is clear that in “My Reality” I [took] a step further and it was almost science fiction. Even so, my ultimate intention, as in all my films, was [to] create internal questions [for] the viewer after seeing it and draw his own conclusions. I think there are just a few viewers [able] to think for themselves, and that is due to normally cinema make[s] things so easy for them to understand. But if you create an emotional, intense script and you try to connect with people’s hearts, they will be open and ready to listen. Then you will realize that [that] is exactly where the responsibility of creating films is. It is very important for me that my films add a value to this world we live in, either through the drama, comedy or horror. Providing seeds of consciousness and giving questions to think about. And as you can see, I’m not spending even a second talking about homosexuality in it, because it is something I never do. I assume that is as natural as life itself and I don’t have to justify anything at all about it, it does it itself as a human right.
CO: I am in post-production on my last short film actually, which is called “The Ritual of Happiness” and it’s starring one of the boys from “Open Relationship,” Eudald Font. It is my most ambitious short film for now. I am moving to a darker theme, and yes, I am repeating again, sending messages of self-help, consciousness and happiness, and the bad use we can do with them if there is [not] an ethic behind [it]. I hope to have it ready in a month, and that it could be seen in every possible film festival in the world.
You can keep up with Carlos and his films at www.CarlosOcho.com or by following him on Twitter @carlosocho8.