Autour de Minuit: 100% courts d’animation | 2019
Khris Cembe: "It’s been an immersion in myself, like an introspection exercise, it was even therapeutic to barf ideas and thoughts."
SOY UNA TUMBA | Spain/France 13’
Every night a boy watches his father unloading a cargo of contraband tobacco. But that night it’s not tobacco…
Hi Khris, thanks for talking to TNC, how is everything going?
First of all, sorry for my English. Nowadays I live in Bristol to improve my English and I’m very happy with my new stage outside my country.
Soy Una Tumba is part of the Autour de Minuit selection what does it mean to be bringing your film to Cannes?
It’s very important to be present everywhere, the purpose of the films is that they are known and watching around the world, making possible the viewer connects with the story.
Are there any nerves ahead of the festival or are you just taking it all in your stride?
Actually, this is my second film as a director and writer, but I’ve worked as an animation director on many films. I always feel nervous when the film is being shown on festivals in front of so many people. This is unavoidable, it always imposes. Then you think that it’s just a film, and life goes on.
What do you hope to take away from your time at Cannes?
I’m not going to be able to attend festival cause I’m working on a new project and it’s so difficult for me to take time to travel. But If I had been there, I’d be watching films all the time, that’s what it’s about.
Can you tell me a little bit about Soy Una Tumba, how did this film come about?
My motivation was the idea of talking about childhood, death and loneliness. That’s why I placed the story in my hometown, where I grew up and where I started to understand what life is about. Galicia is a seaside region that lives mainly from the sea and their sailors, very humble and punished by dramatic stories filled with death and magic. There are long seasons of rain, wind and wild sea. I felt like making a film who talked about me and the place where I left my childhood behind.
"It depends on the script, the tone, the team if I am the director or just the animation director."
What was the most challenging part of bringing Soy Una Tumba to life?
The hardest part was to transform and to give coherence to those ideas I had sailing in my head into a story that tries to evoke. Drawing and painting them to transmit and provoke nostalgic sensations to the spectator.
What have been the important lessons you've taken from making Soy Una Tumba?
It’s been an immersion in myself, like an introspection exercise, it was even therapeutic to barf ideas and thoughts. I needed to express something without being conscious of what. Ultimately I’ve known myself a little more.
Have you always had a passion for filmmaking?
Yes, of course. Since childhood, I’ve always consumed a lot of movies and I had the concern to catch the camera and tell stories, I made amateurs films with the resources I had at hand. As I grew, and because of my draw skills, I decided to make animated films. Today my intention is to combine animation and live action. In fact, what the story requires.
How much has your approach to your films changed since your debut film?
It changes a lot between every film, both mine and for others I have worked.
I have learned a lot from past mistakes. All of them have made me learn and evolute as a film director. It depends on the script, the tone, the team if I am the director or just the animation director. But in the end, all my films have a common essence.
Is there any advice you've been given that's stuck with you?
I have taken several advice, tips or ideas from directors or artists in books or interviews. One of my favourites and I follow the most: do the film that you would like to see on the big screen.
Do you have any advice you would offer a fellow filmmaker?
I don’t usually give much advice, but it would have to give one, it would be that whatever you are doing, do it from honesty and following your instinct.
And finally, what do you hope people will take away from Soy Una Tumba?
I hope they will take a little part from me, from my homeland, I hope to provoke something inside them, at least a little reflection about the passage of time and about the childhood that never comes back, or maybe thought about the relationship with their family.