Zinnfandel Films is back! It has been over a year and a half since I last posted a video, so I am very happy to bring you all Contigo. This is my newest short film, which has been in the works for almost a year (from first draft to final cut). The entire story came to me after reading a quote from Gabriel García Márquez’s novel Cien Años de Solidad. Márquez was a beloved and critically acclaimed author from Columbia (known lovingly as Gabo) who died earlier this year. I feel it is important to apologize to Sr. Márquez and his estate for taking a few quotes from his novel out of context and using them for my own story. Márquez’s incredible words do a phenomenal job of conveying ideas that I could never even dream of expressing on my own. His words are italicized and in quotation marks to distinguish them from my own.
I don’t want to talk about actual plot details of Contigo because I don’t want anyone to go into it with any preconceived notions. However there are a few more elements I want to discuss here. First of all, the dialogue is entirely in Spanish (with subtitles in English of course!). Spanish was really the only way I could make this film in order to preserve the beauty of Márquez’s words, and I realized it is the best language for what the film looks at. Also, I use three songs in the film from famous Mexican trios: Trío Los Galantes, Los Panchos, and Los Tres Ases. These songs are also in Spanish, and I toyed with the idea of putting subtitles for the songs as well but decided against it because I want the focus to be on the visuals. Interestingly, due to copyright laws to some of the music, my short film has been banned in Germany (my first banned film!).
This project was a great opportunity to work with a variety of new people. First of all my younger brother James did the camera work. He had never done anything like this before, and I think he did a great job! I also had the fortune of working with a former sitter of my younger siblings, Hildy Donner; she really fits well in the film. One of my roommates, Bradley Saacks, both helped in the translation and did a good job in his role in the film as well. Finally, I brought a very good friend of mine, Ryan Beale, on board to produce. I also want to thank the Media Resources Center at UNC from which I rented the equipment and edited the film (and all of my previous projects).
I hope you all enjoy Contigo, and I look forward to feedback!