Christian Avilés on „La herida luminosa“/ interview

Born in Barcelona, Spain in 1997, he is a director, writer and composer. He studied cinema and audiovisual media at the Film and Audiovisual School of Catalonia (ESCAC) with a specialism in directing. La herida luminosa is his graduation film.

What was your starting point for “La herida luminosa”?

I had the desire to write a fairy tale based on the mystical-divine activity occurring in plain sight. I can’t help but to fantasize over what lies behind the things we see, obsessing over what is hidden. It feels equally blissful and terrifying to me. Take the image of someone singing to a catchy pop song whose lyrics are in a foreign language that they cannot understand. While they could be singing their heart out, they would be clueless to the revelations and prophecies that the song might hold. In La herida luminosa, young British tourists experience a spiritual awakening that is undecipherable for locals living on the Spanish island.

Do you have a favorite moment in the film? Which one and why this one?

The opening sequence is very dear to me. The film starts on a much darker note than what the story will develop to be. The main character of the teenage boy lives in the world of shadows, where life is suspended. Really, he lives in a flat with his mother, but I liked to picture it as if it were some dungeon up in a high castle surrounded by only darkness.
While having dinner, the mother decides it’s time to hand him a golden envelope that will reflect its light onto the boy’s face. It’s the first time that light enters the story and strikes him, foreshadowing what will mean for him the gate to a different realm, the start of his splendorous adventure. What I enjoy about this moment is how it sets a tone and gives us a glimpse of how he was and how he felt before chasing his destiny on the Spanish island. As contemporary as the story is set to be, it has a very medieval aspect to it; as if he were a doomed prince whose fate was determined beforehand.
Later on, this scene will be mirrored, and a second reflection -bigger and brighter- will reach him. How we were able to capture that reflection in film is something that I remember as a most magical moment. We depended on the position of the sun, and even so, it continued to be elusive. We had to keep an eye out and be ready to leave whatever we were doing at the time to catch it whenever it manifested. Each time I see it now, I think about the wonderful crew that worked on the film in order to achieve every image, especially my cinematographer and friend Manuel G. Romero.

What do you like about the short form?

La herida luminosa is my graduation film, and as it was my case, I find the short form to be the right fit for so many stories to tell. Although it’s tragic that the format isn’t showcased as much as longer productions, I appreciate that they have a gem-quality that relates to that invisibility. Finding short films that you grow to be passionate about feels like discovering a pearl, something hidden and valuable.

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