Cuerdas, a film produced by Arturo Méndiz, premieres on 28 February
We interviewed the professor from the Faculty of Communication Sciences at UIC Barcelona upon the release of his first feature-length film
With ten shorts, four documentaries and two Goya Awards under his belt so far, Arturo Méndiz, producer and professor from the Faculty of Communication Sciences at UIC Barcelona, has taken the leap into feature-length fiction. Cuerdas premieres on 28 February and tells the story of a young disabled girl who finds herself stuck in a house in the countryside, her only company being a trained dog who becomes her worst enemy. The film was directed by José Luis Montesinos and produced by Bastian Films, Méndiz’s production company. We sat down with him to talk about his film and how he’s feeling in the days leading up to the premier of a project that’s been over three and a half years in the making.
How do you feel now that your first feature-length film is about to premier?
It’s the culmination of many years of work, so it is hugely satisfying. I want to make a point of thanking everyone that made it possible, because without them we wouldn’t have been able to get the project off the ground.
When did you realise that Cuerdas was going to be a success?
It’s our job to know when a project is viable and whether it has a future. This case is interesting especially given how it started, because we had already worked with this director on other shorts such as El corredor and La historia de siempre.
They are both examples of very human stories, whilst this one is more like genre cinema.
We have worked with this director on shorts with a more social angle, but we wanted to explore something new with this latest production. We feel like this story still incorporates human elements, even though it’s from a different point of view.
What has promoting the film been like?
It’s a modest film, given we’re not competing against the industry giants. Having said that, we have been to the Sitges Film Festival and other festivals around Spain, as well as distributing the film to the United States, South Korea and Japan for example, so we have a good feeling about it.
What has the response from the industry been like?
The film has been very well received so far, but we’ll have to wait to see what the viewers think.
In terms of production, have you come up against many problems over the past three and a half years?
Yes, quite a few. In fact, Cuerdas is not the first feature film we’ve tried to make, but it is the first that’s been successful. Whether a project such as this comes together or not depends on many circumstances, and in this case we’ve managed to overcome all the obstacles. Once again, I’m so grateful to everyone that has helped make this film a reality.
What will your next challenge be from here on out?
To keep producing stories that deserve to be told. An attractive story, a powerful script and talented actors are all the ingredients you need to generate a winning product. We’d love to be able to keep creating and improving our art.
And you’ll continue teaching at UIC Barcelona at the same time?
I love teaching because you can really express your passion for your job to young people who are still learning about the audiovisual world. Being in contact with new people also helps you discover new points of view and ideas that you hadn’t thought about before.
Speaking of which, two students from UIC Barcelona participated in this film.
Exactly. I love getting my students involved in our projects. This isn’t the first time and it won’t be the last.
Finally, what do you think budding film students need to be successful in the world of cinema?
Pure passion. That’s the main ingredient for anyone looking to work in this industry.