Short Film Palme d’or | 2019
Agustina San Martín: "Try to be real with your relationship with your work, because if you are not honest with yourself, it will always, at some point, show."
MONSTRUO DIOS (MONSTER GOD) | Argentina 10'
11 short films are up for the 2019 Short Film Palme d’Or at the 72nd Cannes Film Festival with French filmmaker Claire Denis chair of the jury.
Hi Agustina, it's great to talk to you again, how's everything going?
Hi! Everything is doing very well, luckily.
What does it mean to be at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival with Monstruo Dios (Monster God)?
To be a part of this Cannes is really an enormous honour, and it's quite overwhelming as well. Everything sounds fantastic.
Monstruo Dios (Monster God) is shortlisted for the Short Film Palme d’or, does this add any extra pressure on you?
Yes, it does! A little panic too. But it's fine, I mean: expectations are good until a certain point. I am just going to try to enjoy this space, watch films and drink some well-deserved wine.
If something this good happens, then it will be a huge blessing. Meanwhile, I will be my adorable self and enjoy the experience fully.
Will you get any nerves ahead of the festival or are you just taking it all in your stride?
I see it as if it were a game. A weird cinematographic Disneyland. So I will go with the flow and try not to think about it too much.
What goes through your mind when your screening at a festival?
Well, this is the dream. All along. I've been picturing this in my head for so long. So the fact that this is now real, makes a lot of sense to me and also feels completely weird.
Can you tell me a little bit about Monstruo Dios (Monster God), how did this film come about?
The short film was shot in 4 days and had 7 months of editing. It was a long way because it is such a weird story. It was very hard to find the right way of doing it. Many of the exports made no sense at all.
Monstruo Dios is about a place where God is a Power Plant. And different situations surrounding that. Kids, cows.
"Think about someone you really truly admire and make them hate you."
What was the inspiration behind this film?
Well, a lot of things. Mostly, one special thing that happened a long time ago when I met two complete strangers that were giving me a lift. They were a sort of very punk-dark couple and we travelled together. There was something about meeting them, their car filled with doll-heads, their painted faces and listening for the first time to some music albums they showed me (the song Shpynx of La Femme comes to mind), that made me feel something.
While making the short film, I knew I wanted to feel that. I also mixed it with some dreams. And, well, my atheism, of course.
What was the most challenging part of bringing Monstruo Dios (Monster God) to life?
The editing. There were some days where I felt we were making something very special. Yet, other days, I just looked at the computer and thought "well, this makes no sense at all and I may be the worst director ever".
What was the most valuable lesson you've taken from making this film?
Patience. Good things take their own time.
Have you always had a passion for filmmaking?
Oh yes. It's the only thing that makes sense to me.
How much has your approach to your films changed since your debut film?
Well, I stopped trying to find acceptation from the others in some way. I don't know if people are going to like it. I just know I do and I trust in my own taste. The need for legitimation has to stop because that is an obstacle for making honest work.
Is there any advice you've been given that's stuck with you?
Yes. A friend and director once said: "Think about someone you really truly admire and make them hate you".
Do you have any advice you would offer a fellow filmmaker?
Try to be real with your relationship with your work, because if you are not honest with yourself, it will always, at some point, show.
And finally, what do you hope people will take away from Monstruo Dios (Monster God)?
I hope it makes sense for them! But not in an intellectual way, or in its aesthetics, but in a deeper philosophical way. The short film tries to convey a conversation about our bizarre idea of god, so if while people watch it, they feel in an awkward yet magnetic spiritual void, then I will feel it worked.