The Colombian-American filmmaker was born in Plantation, Florida in 1990. His debut feature film The Conference of the Birds premiered in Paris and won the Narrative Features Jury Award at the 2021 New Orleans Film Festival.
What was your starting point for “From Fish to Moon”?
The starting point I would say, was the moment I found out that Jean was working at the Thriftway in Pahokee. Throughout the years I had frequented the grocery store and found it undeniably cinematic.
Jean is a great young man and I basically knew there was a chance to make something in that setting with his help. Luckily we asked the owner and got their approval.
I revisited the Thriftway about a week ago and it was heartbreaking to see that it was a different store. Within a year, a new owner took over, employees were let go or left and they stopped operating the meat section.
It was truly a moment in time
and I’m grateful that the folks who were there welcomed us and allowed us to make this short.
Do you have a favourite moment in the film? Which one and why this one?
It’s difficult to pick one especially since moments have grown on me. In fact, I’ll avoid choosing a favorite since it doesn’t add much. Instead I’ll mention that what I love overall about the project is how the essence of a place and the people within that space are captured.
I find it interesting how the opening conversation with Sue about the peanut guy and then later-on the moment with Greg, the air conditioning repair man, echo one another.
In both moments you have a third character that isn’t present, but yet their talked about. There mentioned several times and play/played an important role in the world we are in.
Jean in his own way continues this pattern through his poetry recitation. I’ve only recently thought of this and it’s satisfying to me.
What do you like about the short form?
I think that most stories can be told in the short form. Parables for instance are typically short in length and wildly powerful in their delivery. In this particular case, I was hoping for something similar. Finding that rhythm and visual language to complement each other is a challenge but when it works, you feel it right away. Now I’m in the mood to create another feature which means I’ll just roll the camera longer this time.
„From Fish to Moon is both a culmination of years working within a small town with the same folks and then an opportunity that arose when Jean got a job at the Thriftway. The Thriftway is a wonderful combination of different spaces in one; like a gas station meets a grocery store meets a casino. It’s a funny juxtaposition of visuals and, in the end, film and storytelling are all about juxtaposition.“
Interview with Kevin Contento for the Short Flim Magazine Yellow Bread Shorts.