• Neus Flores

Interview with Film director Isaki Lacuesta winner of ¨Gaudí¨ Catalan Film Award 2018

Isaki Lacuesta has just been awarded with the Catalan film Gaudí award for directing the best feature film "Entre dos Aguas (Between Two Waters)" in Spanish Language, which was already the winner of the ¨Concha de Oro (golden shell) Award¨ at San Sebastián International Film Festival 2018.

"Entre dos Aguas (Between Two Waters)" was shot twelve years after the documentary ¨La leyenda del tiempo (The legend of time) ¨, premiered in 2006 – Lacuesta´s first film about flamenco singer Camarón de la Isla, with Isra (his main character) on the film.

In "Entre dos Aguas (Between Two Waters)", Isra returns to the Island of San Fernando some years later, to try to find his wife and daughters.

While inside the Gaudí Award Ceremony venue, I had the opportunity to interview Isaki Lacuesta personally, and congratulate him for his success.

  1. Hello Isaki, please tell us a little about how did you decide to make this movie?

Well, I got the idea running in my head since I made a trip to the island of San Fernando in the year 2000. We went on vacation there, and fell totally in love with the place, and its people.

Filming over there was a very intimate project, since the main characters grow from being children to becoming teenagers. It could be said that I was inspired by Truffaut's trilogy with Apu. And when the film ¨Boyhood¨ appeared in theaters, it helped me more to tell our story a little better.

2. What has been the most difficult part of filming "Entre dos Aguas (Between Two Waters)"? Can you tell us any anecdote?

The hardest thing was to look for crabs with Isra in the mud, and we realized how cheap it is to eat seafood, because of the difficulty of picking it up.

The mud totally covered us to the knees, and even sucked our shoes.

We had to shoot with the cameras sunk to the waist, and it was really complicated. Just the thought that they do it every day to be able to survive with their family, it blows my mind!

3. How is your relationship with the actors of the film, and with Isra in particular?

Friendship, affection, respect, and admiration.

I have no better words to define it. I have seen Isra grow up since he was 12 years old, and I have been able to share his own experience of falling in love. We spend a lot of time living together while we shoot, and love is very important in human relationships.

I think I've been very lucky with the actors and actresses I work with, because we get along very well, and I'm very happy to work with them, as many times as needed.

4. Your previous film that was already awarded with the Gaudí statue ¨La próxima piel (The next skin)¨ had the Catalan actor Alex Monner as the main character in it, and the Spanish actress Emma Suarez as his mother -who was awarded with the ¨Goya¨ film award for her role. What was it like to work with them?

Well, this has been my fifth nomination to the Gaudí awards, and I am delighted to have won it again.

There are actors with whom I have a special relationship and with whom I could do many other films, among which are not only Emma and Alex, but also Sergi Lopez, and Barbara Levi – who is already preparing her role in my new project.

5. Now that you have won the Gaudí award again, how does It feel?

You have to go to any festival without expecting much. You have to take them and value them in their true meaning. They are a lottery, and if you are lucky, you win. Like in any game.

Being a winner does not mean that you do not have to work afterwards, because you often work even more, and in reality it is your work that is at stake.

And not winning does not mean that your movie is not good, but this is just a competition: sometimes you win, and sometimes you lose. It depends on many factors: the jury, the audience, how good the other films are, etc.

But winning really does provide you with a lot of media attention, which sometimes helps audiences discover works that would not have gone to watch, otherwise. But as far as I know, only the Forqué awards have an economic endowment in Spain, so the money does not come from the awards- at least, not directly.

6. You already won a ¨Concha de Oro (golden shell)¨ award in San Sebastian film fest for "Los Pasos Dobles (double steps)" in 2011, what did it mean to you to win the shell again in 2018 for "Entre dos Aguas (Between Two Waters)"?

Winning the ¨Concha¨ award back in 2011 made me very happy because the jury that selected my film were people that I admired. I really loved them, and I was even able to talk to them right on the spot! It was a dream come true.

In the Catalan ¨Gaudí¨ awards, as well as in the Spanish ¨Goya¨ awards, it is a more relaxed atmosphere full of colleagues, where we meet and value each other´s work.

9. Would you like to win an Oscar and get to the top? Or you're not that ambitious and you're already happy with your work?

Yes, I would love to win an Oscar.

It's something I had not thought about until this year, but I think I would really like to win it, and now it's almost become a challenge - so I've started my new project with that goal in mind. I hope to win the Oscar, yes. Hopefully! (smiles).

10.What would you say to a film student who wants to become a director? Any advice?

Do what you like best, with full passion, and above all, with a lot of determination.

You do not have to make movies as a form of investment, because there is a lot of good cinema that does not return too much economically.

I believe that you have to make your dreams come true, not those of other people. Because any project tends to have its issues, and if you are the one who must solve them, it is better that you solve your own.

Thank you very much Isaki, and congratulations for all your awards.

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