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Juan Pablo Martinez’s moving feature Emma will Premiere at the 2017 New Jersey International Film Festival on Saturday, June 10!


By Al Nigrin

originally published: 06/05/2017

Juan Pablo Martinez’s moving feature Emma will Premiere at the 2017 New Jersey International Film Festival on Saturday, June 10!

Juan Pablo Martinez’s moving feature Emma will Premiere at the 2017 New Jersey International Film Festival on Saturday, June 10!

Here is my interview with Emma Director Juan Pablo Martinez:

Nigrin:  Your touching and meditative feature film Emma focuses on two lonely people -- Anna, a young Polish woman and Juan, a middle aged coal miner -- who find each other. Please tell us more about your film and why you decided to make it.

Martinez: Emma arises from a narrative need of experimentation as a director, where the image has a more important role than the word in the way of telling a story. I wanted to experience how two people can connect without saying a single word to each other. The first character that emerged was Anna, a Polish woman who lives in the Argentine Patagonia, does not speak the language and does not know anybody.  She is stranded in a small town, in the middle of nowhere and isolated from everything,

The second character, Juan, appeared when the Director of Photography Adrián Lorenzo went to Río Turbio in Patagonia Argentina to make a documentary about its coal mine. After I wachted the material, I was fascinated with the stories of those who work there and what begun as a documentary was transformed into a more anthropological film. Before entering the mine, you hear a talk where they explain all the security measures you need to be aware of, but once you get inside yo can see how any of those men perform any of those security standards. It looks like they do not care about all that stuff going directly into their lungs and I started trying to imaging what  life is like for those men.



 
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The next step was making the two characters cross paths and I thought about an "accident"… I think that is how most of life changes encounters happen.  From there, these two broken souls begin connecting  with their own disconnection from the rest of the world.  And then questions begun to arise: How can two people get to know each other without saying a single word? What other types of comunication can you have with your pair? Sharing a morning coffee, food, sex , music, routines, silence. But, what makes them stay together? Their loneliness? The need of having contact with another human being?  All these questions are addressed in Emma  in a kind of anthropological study inside of a cinematic story .

Nigrin: The two lead actors put on very nuanced performances. Tell us more about them.

Martinez: The lead actor, Germán Palacios is a well-known actor in Argentina with great experience in TV, cinema and theater and when I told the idea of the film to him, he soon became interested in telling this story. It was amazing to have such a talented actor who took his character to places I had not even thought of.

For Sofia Rangone this is her first movie. She is a great actress of musical theater and obtained the role through casting. When we saw her on the screen there was no doubt that she was the one to play Anna. You can see the world through her eyes. She is a great actress. We worked hard with Sofia and Germán to be able to tell this story through their souls and their eyes and their actions, regardless of words. But It was a beautiful and incredible experience. 

Nigrin:  Where was your film shot and how long did it take to make it? 

Martinez: It was filmed in the cities of Epuyén and Río Turbio in the south of Argentina (Patagonia), Maldonado (Uruguay) and Krakow (Poland). It was filmed over 4 months, between September and December 2015, about 5 days per month. And it took about 8 months of post production. 

Nigrin: The cinematography is also quite beautiful and can even be called a character in your film. Tell us more about the look of your film and the cinematography.



 
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Martinez: From the beginning I wanted the cinematography to transmit the moods of the characters and the different moments of the story, which I divided into three parts: hell, purgatory and paradise. At the first part I wanted the viewer to feel the cold and desolation of the characters and landscape. The second part was perhaps the most normal of colors although I wanted it to have some green as a light of hope at the end of the nightmare. And the third part had to be more colorful and warm. Anna returns to her place in the world and will not be alone anymore.

Nigrin: Are there any memorable stories while you made this film or any other info about your film you can rely to our readers?

Martinez: I think something interesting about the process of the film is that it did not have a classic script but only twelve pages with brief descriptions of the scenes (a basic outline). What they are going to see in the screen is a product of the work with the actors in the rehearsals and in the set of filming.

Here is the trailer for Emma: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P1jdecmVyUk

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Emma will be preceded by the great short The Ravens by Jennifer Perrott. Here is more info on this screening:

The Ravens – Jennifer Perrott (Annandale, New South Wales, Australia)  When a young girl’s father returns unexpectedly from war, his volatile state makes it difficult for the family to reconnect.  His young daughter begins to project her anxieties onto a pair of ravens, who are vigilantly defending their nearby nest, and who become a catalyst for the troubled family's journey from crisis to healing. 2016; 22 min.

Emma – Juan Pablo Martinez (Buenos Aires, Argentina) In this touching and meditative feature film, Juan works in a coal mine in Patagonia, Argentina. Anna, a young Polish woman, finds herself alone, after her husband, the only person in the country she knew, suddenly disappears . In their own ways, Anna and Pedro both live isolated from everyone and everything.  When a car accident unexpectedly brings them together, they begin, very slowly, to build a relationship. Perhaps their loneliness and disconnection from the world will allow them to save each other. In Spanish and Polish, subtitled. 2017; 76 min. Special Guest Appearance by Director Juan Pablo Martinez and Lead Actress Sophia Rangone!

Saturday, June 10, 2017 at 5:00 p.m.


Voorhees Hall #105/Rutgers University


71 Hamilton Street, New Brunswick, New Jersey


$12=General; $10=Students+Seniors; $9=Rutgers Film Co-op Friends


Information: (848) 932-8482;
www.njfilmfest.com

Jimmy John’s of New Brunswick will be providing free food prior to all New Jersey Film Festival Screenings!

 



 
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Albert Gabriel Nigrin is an award-winning experimental media artist whose work has been screened on all five continents. He is also a Cinema Studies Lecturer at Rutgers University, and the Executive Director/Curator of the Rutgers Film Co-op/New Jersey Media Arts Center, Inc.

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