La Familia de Gustavo Rondon Cordova : "I wanted that Caracas is the main character of the film"

The Familia is the first feature film of venezuelan Gustavo Rondon Cordova. AlloCiné was able to speak with the director in the context of the presentation at cannes of the film at The Critic’s Week in may of 2017. In The Familia, Pedro, 12 years old, wanders with his friends in the streets violent of a working-class suburb of Caracas. When he seriously injured a boy of the neighborhood during a game of confrontation, his father, Andrés, the strength to take flight with him to hide. Andrés discovers her inability to control her teenage son, but this new situation will bring father and son like never before. AlloCiné : The title, The Familia is at once enigmatic and very simple, why have they chosen ? Gustavo Rondon Cordova : It was a working title at the beginning ; then, during the editing process, I was able to get an idea of the entirety of the film, and I came to the conclusion that my 2 main characters were a real family, and that was the most important. They are only 2 but they are still a family. It is for this reason that I finally kept this title for the final. The children in the film, and especially the protagonist, Reggie Reyes, are amazing of realism, how have you found it ? I knew from the start that I wanted the non-professional actors to play the kids. We have therefore embarked on a long process of casting ; we have scoured the schools, gyms and other locations. We were doing first doing of short interviews, and then if we liked it, we remember to do other tests. We ended up selecting 20 children, knowing that the main actor would be among them. Reggie Reyes was present and I am the assistant to two casting directors. They thus knew not that I was in fact the director. I became a friend with them and one day, I was doing some tests with the camera with Reggie, and I felt something very magnetic in him, it clung really well to the screen. So I decided that it would be the hero of the film. The irony is that they did not really realize that we were going to do a film, he was in his world, he was not really aware of to pass a process of selection. In the end, when he was informed that he would be the main character, it has began to become aware of all this, How have you managed to establish such rapport between Reggie Reyes and the actor who portrays his father, Giovanny Garcia ? Before the shooting, they did not know each other really, they had done tests together, but no more. This is something that I wanted. We were shooting in chronological order and I wanted it to happen in the film which also happens outside of the film. There was a lot of distance between them at the beginning, both in real as in those of their characters. Reggie Reyes is a very shy child, so I used it during the shooting to get closer. Rights reserved Reggie Reyes and Giovanny Garcia embody Pedro and Andres Giovanny has also helped a lot because it really is a very cool guy, always very open. He was very careful with Reggie and realized very quickly what he liked and what he didn’t like. He found the tools to work with him and I was there to try to round the corners. In the end, we managed to create a real bond between all the members of the shooting because we were a small team. This atmosphere has helped a lot Reggie, who landed without a net in this whole process. I wanted my city, Caracas, is the main character of this story. You paint a picture very violent in your country, Venezuela, with realistic, almost documentary, did you have the will to denounce and condemn this violence by making this film ? To be honest, I love realistic films, they influence me a lot. I wanted my city, Caracas, is the main character of this story. So, I wanted to be very respectful of that. I did everything I could to inject the truth to the image and also find the beauty in this sad reality. I did not want to denounce, I really wanted to focus on the history of these 2 characters. I also wanted that at the end of the film, the audience has a kind of feeling in 3 dimensions relative to the environment of the film. You have decided not to show the screenplay to the actors before shooting, why have you chosen this method ? I did not invent this technique, I learned of the film directors that I admire very much. In this case, I thought this would be good because there was not a lot of dialogue, the characters are mostly in the action. In addition, I didn’t want the actors intellectualisent too much and end up creating characters who do not stick to the film. It was therefore necessary that I bring a real dynamic during the shooting because we were shooting so in chronological order and I was getting the movie at the same time so I could report myself to the correctness of each second. D. R. Reggie Reyes and Giovanny Garcia I wanted to keep some flexibility on the plateau and the level of the writing, so I was watching the rushes of the previous day, and I rewrite based on what we were going to turn the next day. Even when we did rehearsals, we had planned the entire scene with the actors, and we give permission to remove the replica, to remove some things to get to the point. Caracas is a very dangerous city, and some places of the city, which are particularly, but we were very well prepared. Can you tell us about the atmosphere in Caracas during the shooting, do not you have had problems of violence or threats ? No, not at all, because we went through a long phase of pre-production which included negotiations to be able to turn in all these places. It was also necessary to understand the dynamics of these places and most of all be honest with everyone out there. We explain precisely what we were doing, our plans, how we were going to turn etc, of course, Caracas is a very dangerous city, and some places of the city, which are particularly, but we were very well prepared and we had a service for the protection of our side. There has been some tensions during the shoot but in reality, paradoxically, in these moments, some places become more calm. La Familia PREVIEW "Advance !"

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