Patricia Riggen: Love and Politics Under the Same Moon

By James van Maanen

What with Venice in full swing and Toronto firing up, a little thing like the Film Society of Lincoln Center's Latinbeat might pale for film buffs. But there are gems here, some of which are not likely to be seen in other venues. That will most definitely not be the case with La Misma Luna (Under the Same Moon) [official site] the new film from Patricia Riggen, whom I had the chance to interview by phone, briefly, just minutes after her arrival in NYC. Riggens is here for only two days and then flies to Toronto on Saturday for the film's premier there - all with her 6-week-old baby in tow.

Are you American or Mexican?

I was born and raised in Guadalajara, Mexico. I moved to New York City ten years ago, where I got an MFA at Columbia University, in Film Studies. Then I moved to Los Angeles around three years ago.

According to the IMDB, you have made only two short films previously.

Yes, the first was a narrative short subject, 27 minutes long called La Milpa (The Cornfield) It went to 40 festivals, and won over 20 awards. Then I made another 28-minute documentary called Family Portrait about a little boy who was photographed by Gordon Parks for Life magazine in 1968. It deals with poverty in Harlem. This one also went to many festivals and won the jury prize at Sundance. The shorts and their success allowed me to raise money to finance my first feature-length film.

La Misma Luna

How did you get involved in La Misma Luna?

The writer of the film, Ligiah Villalobos, saw Family Portrait and started sending me screenplays, and eventually she sent this one. I liked it very much because it is about the strongest of relationships - the story of a mother and son who are separated. I like to do things that move people. So I started working with Ligiah on the screenplay, and we worked on it for one whole year. We did many, many drafts. By the time the script was ready, so was the financing.

How was the movie financed?

Independently, with funds from both Mexico and the USA. The budget was under $2 million. I got the Mexican money from the Mexican government fund, through which directors like [Alfonso] Cuarón, [Alejandro González] Iñárritu and [Guillermo] del Toro got the money to make their first films. And then I also raised private money from the US. As hard as it was to work on a tight budget - and having to shoot in two countries - I still had complete creative freedom. So I can honestly say that every single final decision in the movie was made by me as director and producer.

Then what happened? Sundance?

Yes. La Misma Luna was a tiny movie, but it ended up as the second largest sale at Sundance this year. We had so many studios bidding for it, but finally it was bought jointly by Fox Searchlight, which has the distribution rights in North America and Latin America, and by The Weinstein Company, with the rights to the rest of the world.

How did you arrive at that wonderful, subtle ending that, besides working on a realistic level, is also symbolic of moving forward with immigration? [Spoiler alert: the ending does not show us the expected moment we've been waiting for but instead cuts to something else.]

I don't know exactly how I arrived at this, but from the first moment of thinking about how to film it, the ending came up like this in my mind. It had to be like this because there is no way that we could shoot that moment any better than the audience could already imagine it. So we had to give them something else. There have been a lot of discussions - and some arguments, really - about this. Some people really wanted that typical ending. But I was so convinced not to do this that I did not even shoot it as an alternate possibility!

Where was that lovely-looking Mexican village you used for Carlitos' home?

It's located fairly close to Mexico City. I shot the movie both in Mexico and the US, but most of it was shot in Mexico, except the Los Angeles exteriors. You just can't fake those! All interiors that were supposedly located in the US were shot in Mexico, too. I did this mostly because I was working with a child actor, and the Mexican equivalent of the SAG rules are a little easier for the director who has a really limited budget. You can use the child actor much more and for longer hours than in the US. If the child needs to or wants to do something - anything - you can just do it. There are not so many rules; like, you don't have to have a teacher always on the set.

Your young actor Adrian Alonso is just splendid.

Yes, and he's a very experienced actor, too. He's actually done five features already. I had only done one! He has the purity of a child actor and the professionalism of an adult. He never missed a line. He never fooled around, and was always concentrated. So he gave me the best of both worlds.

La Misma Luna

What a performance! The cast in general is extra special. How did you cast people like America Ferrera (Ugly Betty) and Jesse Garcia (Quinceañera), probably the most famous to our eyes?

I sent America the script, and she liked it and agreed to do it. Actually, in Mexico, Eugenio Derbez, who plays Enrique, and Kate del Castillo, who plays the mother, are really the most famous actors.

They both are wonderful, but for me, it was Señor Derbez who finally makes made the movie work as well as it does. It's his character that gives the film its greatest weight.

He is the most famous comedian in all Mexico and maybe in all of Latin America. In a way, Mexico provides much of the TV for the rest of the Central and South America, so he is an enormously well-known figure. But although he is so famous as a comedian, this is his first dramatic role. He has been trying to get into dramatic films, but nobody gave him the opportunity. When I cast him, everybody told me I was crazy to do it. "You will fail," they insisted! It seemed like a huge risk. He was not a trained dramatic actor, yet he is so charismatic and so talented. We worked a lot - really a lot - before the shoot, and during it too. But Derbez did it. And his character is so vital to the film.

Because immigration is now such as hot-button issue, what do you think the response to the film will be?

I am very curious to see how people will respond. This is, first of all, love story between the mom and her son. That's what's most important here. So I hope that whatever their feelings are about immigration, that people will respond first to this. I had no idea that we would get that standing ovation at Sundance. So now I am very curious how the audience at the Latinbeat series and at the Toronto Festival, where we will show it on Saturday, will respond.

Do you know why the release has been postponed from this September to March 2008?

I think Fox Searchlight did this because they realize the big potential the film has for very different audiences. They need more time to get it ready, and I think this was a good choice because now they will have more time to ready the release in the right way to reach as many people as possible: the Hispanic market, the art houses, and - maybe, we hope - even the mainstream audience.

One last question: Will the boy's best friend in Mexico ever get a nice pair of sneakers?

[Laughs] That image of those shoes is very present in my mind, too! It is such a complex problem, immigration. And I wanted to show that. The young boy says to Carlitos, "You're so lucky!" But Carlitos does not think so. He is not really happy because he just wants his mother, rather than the money or presents she is sending him. Immigration is very sad situation. It is not just about people coming to invade your country. These are human beings who only love their families and are trying to provide for them. In making the film, I came to realize that all these people have one thing in common: They are acting out of love. There is no other reason why they would put their life at risk they way they do.


This blog post is meant to be

This blog post is meant to be the best blog post ever! And I think it has achieved that respect. convert mxf | PDF offers some security advantages so that people are unable to access the content, copy the content, or use the content without your permission by requiring a password to do more then read the file. pdf to word

Reminder: Your payment for this invoice (5237) is due

Photographer Manchester
  Business Loan

Working Capital Loans

Equipment Financing

Bad Credit Loans


Commercial Loans

Working Capital Loans

Line of Credit

Unsecured Loans for Business  

Truck loans  

Merchant Cash Advance
Fast business
Commercial Truck loans

Start up business loans

Business Cash Advance
Promotional Videos

Promotional Videos Calgary

Wedding Videos

Tourism Video Production

Corporate Video Production
Website Design and Internt Markting by Cloud1Marketing

Wedding Photographer New Jersey 
New Jersey Wedding Photographers
Corporate Video Production
Calgary Safety Videos
Human Resource Videos
Recruitment Video
Video Marketing Production
 Blank Guns
 Bullwhip  Whip
 Blank Ammo  Western

buy western holster

Riding Saddle
blank guns
Picture Frame
Personalized Photo Frame

Personalized Wedding
Wedding Picture
 Wedding Photo
Wedding Sign
Personalized Wedding Gift

Frame Personalized Dad
Wedding Gift
Wedding Gift
Wedding Gift
Mom Frame
Wedding Gift
Clarita Dentist
Santa Clarita
dentist Santa
Clarita ca
dentists Santa
Clarita ca
Valencia Dentist
Dentist Valencia
dentist Valencia ca
dentists Valencia ca
Santa Clarita Family Dental
Toothache Santa Clarita
Emergency Dentist Santa Clarita
Implants Santa Clarita
Dental Implant Santa Clarita
Teeth Cleaning Santa Clarita
Family Dentist Santa Clarita
Cosmetic Dentist Santa Clarita
Santa Clarita Cosmetic Dentist
Santa Clarita Family Dentist
Santa Clarita Dental Hygienist
Valencia Family Dental
Toothache Valencia
Emergency Dentist Valencia
Implants Valencia
Dental Implant Valencia
Teeth Cleaning Valencia
Family Dentist Valencia
Cosmetic Dentist Valencia
Valencia Cosmetic Dentist
Valencia Family Dentist
Valencia Dental Hygienist  Personalized
Wedding Photo Frame
Fast business loans
Truck Loans

working capital loans
 robert freeman dds.
westlake village facebook
digital agency
India digital agency
Mumbai social media agency
Mumbai digital marketing agency
diesel performance parts
performance parts
diesel turners 
diesel truck accessories
dodge cummins performance parts
ford powerstroke
performance parts
performance parts diesel
parts gmc
accessories diesel
gmc chevolet
duramax performance parts
Robert Freeman DDS  
Freeman DDS
Freeman DDS
Robert Freeman DDS
Robert Freeman DDS
Robert Freeman DDS  
Freeman DDS
Robert Freeman DDS  
Robert Freeman DDS
kong escort

hong kong escorts  
Fresno Website Design 
photographer new jersey
  new jersey
wedding photographer
  asian wedding
photographer New Jersey
Wedding photographer New Jersey
Wedding video photographer New Jersey
wedding photography New Jersey   
Indian Wedding photography New Jersey 
driving lessons calgary 
driving school 
driving school calgary 
calgary driving school  
driving school in calgary
driving lessons 
school driving

defensive driving course calgary

defensive driving course
driving schools in calgary
hk escort 
 hong kong escort
hong kong escorts  Hong
Kong Escort Service
   hong kong escort
hong kong escorts  orlando
  orlando limousine
 port canaveral transportation 
port canaveral limo
 port canaveral shuttle  orlando
airport taxi
limo service
in orlando
limousine service
limo service

conservatories prices

lean to conservatory

lean to conservatories

self build conservatories

self build conservatories
self build conservatory 
Manchester Airport
Parking at
Manchester Airport

Car Parks at Manchester Airport

Manchester Airport Car
Airport Parking
Parking Manchester Airport

Car Parking Manchester
Park and Ride
Parking Manchester

Meet and Greet Parking Manchester

Airport Parking Discount
Thousand Oaks Dentist
Thousand Oaks Dentists
Dentist in Thousand Oaks
Dentists in Thousand Oaks
Dental Office Thousand Oaks
Dental Practice Thousand Oaks
Dental Cleaning Thousand Oaks
Hygienist Thousand Oaks
Cosmetic Dentist Thousand
Veneers Thousand Oaks

Professional Teeth Whitening Thousand Oaks

Invisalign Thousand Oaks
Emergency Dentist Thousand
Toothache Thousand
Endodontic Thousand
Root Canal Thousand
Gingivitis Thousand
Gum Disease Thousand
Tooth Extraction
Thousand Oaks
Tooth Decay
Thousand Oaks
Implant Thousand Oaks

Dentures Thousand Oaks
 platinum jewellery online shopping 
buy platinum jewellery online 
platinum jewellery india  
buy platinum ring online  jewellery
online shopping
 daily wear
  jewellery shopping
  fashionable jewellery
  buy jewellery online 
buy fashion jewellery online 
online jewellery store
 online jewellery shop  
gold mangalsutra online 
buy gold mangalsutra online 
buy mangalsutra online
mangalsutra online shopping 
gold chain online 
buy gold chain online 
buy gold chain online india  
gold solitaire rings
 solitaire engagement rings 
solitaire rings with prices

Nike Jordan Shoes,

Nike Jordan Shoes,
Polo T Shirts,
Beats By Dre Outlet,
Michael Kors Outlet Online,
North Clearace Outlet,
Ralph Polo Outlet,
Gucci Shoes Outlet,
Michael Kors Outlet,
Polo Outlet Store,
Ralph Lauren UK,
Marc Jacobs On Sale,
MCM Outlet,
Sac Longchamp Pairs,
Canada Goose Outlet,
Burberry Outlet,
Michael Kors Outlet,
Coach Outlet Online,
Hermes Outlet,
Oakley Sunglaases Factory,
North Face Outlet Online,
Moncler Clearance,
Woolrich Clearance,
Barbour Jackets Outlet Online,
Moncler Jackets Outlet Online,
Monster Beats Outlet,
Louis Vuitton Outlet,
Louis Vuitton Factory,
Discount Clothes Sale,
Michael Kors Factory Online,
Coach Factory Outlet,
Coach Black Friday,
Coach Store Outlet Online,
Coach Factory Outlet Online,
Coach Outlet,
Coach Factory,
Coach Purses Outlet Online,
Coach Outlet USA,
Coach Outlet Online USA,
Coach Factory Outlet Online,
Black Friday,
Coach Purses Outlet Online,
Ralph Lauren Polo,,
Coach Factory Outlet Online
Handbags Outlet,
Louis Vuitton Outlet
Hermes Bags Outlet
Prada Outlet Online
Chanel Outlet
Gucci Outlet
Burberry Outlet Online
Celine Outlet Online
Balenciaga Outlet Online
Christian Dior Outlet
Chloe Outlet
Bvlgari Outlet
Bally Outlet Online
coach Outlet Online
Michael Kors Outlet
MCM Backpack Outlet
Fendi Outlet
Mulberry Outlet Online
Marc Jacobs Outlet Online
Miu Miu Outlet
Ysl Outlet
Tory Burch Outlet
Givenchy Outlet
Ferragamo Outlet
Lancel Outlet
Loewe Bags Outlet
Tods Outlet
Paul Smith Outlet
D&G Bags Outlet
Alexander Wang Outlet
Bottega Veneta Outlet

post is mantap

This is a super blog post! A light sparks away from this post, there is a shinning here. This blog post is meant to be the best blog post ever! And I think it has achieved that respect. Super duper work! pusat crystal x jogja pusat crystal x crystal x asli crystal x asli nasa

the garden is beutiful ...

dapatkan crystal x asli hanya di Distributor Crystal X Asli PT.Natural Nusantara (NASA) kami hanya menjual crystal x asli gunakan crystal x asli nasa untuk mengatasi segala masalah pada organ kewanitaan anda

This Text Your Ex Back review

This Text Your Ex Back review examines the Michael Fiore PDF and its ability to help you get your ex back using tiny text messages sent from your cell phone
Bundapoker.Com Agen Texas Poker Dan Domino Online Indonesia Terpercaya Situs Judi Poker Online Terbaik Terpercaya Cipto Junaedy| Cipto Junaedy | Singgasana Hotels & Resorts pilihan akomodasi terbaik di Indonesia

I the efforts you have plop

I the efforts you have plop in this, utter appreciation you for all the fantastic issue substance. Texas Holdem Poker,Texas Poker,Poker Uang Asli,Permainan Poker,Dewa Poker,Poker Online,Zynga Poker,FB Poker,Poker Zynga

I saw this movie last month.

I saw this movie last month. Man the kid was amazing. He came up with lot of originals. I mean I felt like he is living in it rather than acting. I was pretty amazed by his performance. He has a great future. The main character was also flawless. Thanks for sharing this great information
error code microsoft

* You can comment on articles

* Private messaging to others in the GreenCine community -- and more features coming soon!

* Keep apprised of happenings in the world of films festivals, independent, international, cult, classic, horror movies and more!

* As a free registered member, you can upgrade your account to a rental subscription -- or if you want a rental subscription right away, click here.