Wednesday, July 6

Diego Luna, Mexican actor and director: “We have neglected the relationship between Spain and Mexico and we must recover it”

The Mexican actor and director Diego Luna is in Huesca these days, where he has received an award for his artistic career within the framework of the International Film Festival of the Aragonese city, which takes place from Friday to next Saturday, June 18. It turns 50 editions and celebrates it in style; first, with the presence of the author, whose first film is also screened, Abel (2010). The Aragonese city appears intrinsically linked to his career. At just two years old, she stood in front of the cameras on the tape Antoinette (1982), by Carlos Saura from Huesca.

His mother, British costume designer Fiona Alexander, was killed in a car accident while working on the same film. Forty years later, Diego Luna has received the award that bears the name of the veteran director and this Saturday he has offered his impressions and reflections on a profession that has allowed him to combine auteur cinema and big blockbusters with his presence in television series What Narcos: Mexico or in one of the sequels of starwars, rogue one. She has also participated in Andorwhich belongs to that same cinematic universe and premieres on August 31 on Disney +.

The Mexican has offered a press conference accompanied by the director of the contest, Rubén Moreno, and Luis Alegre, writer, filmmaker and the person who accompanied him when he became known in Spain with And Your Mother Too (2001), the film that put him on the world film map alongside Gael García Bernal and Maribel Verdú directed by Alfonso Cuarón. In Huesca she has closed a “beautiful symmetry”, as Alegre has defined it, and proclaimed her love for cinema. It all started with that road movie, which showed him that “with very specific work we achieve a great impact. Our work became popular for all the right reasons and reminded us of what we are capable of.”

He has reflected on that relationship that becomes an open gap between local and commercial cinema and the way in which Mexican authors look at their almighty neighbors to the north. “When we were younger, the feeling was that you had to go to the US and lose your accent. It wasn’t enough to be who you were. And Your Mother Too it had to be seen in Spain with subtitles, it is a very specific Mexico”. The film led them to conclude that “we could continue doing what we liked and continue conquering audiences and spaces. Working outside while still being who I was was revolutionary.”

Luna’s career, 42 years old, has also placed him on stage in theaters and behind the camera. One of the first short films in which she participated, The last end of the year (1991), by Javier Bourges, was awarded at the Huesca International Film Festival. He precisely remembered the day the director informed him that they had won and has asserted that this contest is “a benchmark for many Latin American filmmakers. A festival like this is foundational for filmmakers from all over the world who share a language but not a market. There is a brutal fracture and our cinema does not travel. We think in territorial terms. Festivals like this remind us that if we form a block we are stronger and that the difference makes us interesting”.

In the list of winners of the short film contest there are names that were later consecrated in the long format and Diego Luna described it as a “great omen”. The award “sticks” him for “his love for my mother, for the movies I grew up watching and for Spain. I still have a lot to build that continues to bind me to this festival. I will want to come and tell you everything it has meant to me since I made a short film in my country that I thought only my dad would see. This award has moved me.”

He believes that a fruitful relationship can be resumed between Spain, “which tends to look to Europe”, and Mexico, “which looks to the north”: “I grew up watching a lot of Spanish cinema and I feel that we have neglected that connection. It seems that with the platforms we are closer but it is not so true. If we make movies it is not to collect statuettes, it would speak very badly of us; it is to collect experiences”.

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