ÉCU Film Festival | 2019
Marin Troude: "When I realized that all of that was real, I got very excited but I have to admit I became also very nervous at the same time because all of that new exposure was new to me."
LOST IN CARRANZA | US 14’
In the night of October 12th 2015, Pablo Carranza falls back into hard drugs despite his sobriety and battle against years of addiction. Alone in his apartment, filled with regret and guilt, he decides to confess by leaving a final voice message for his first love.
Hi Marin, it's great to talk to you again, how's everything going?"
Thank you very much for featuring me. I am always glad to have the opportunity to take the floor, debate and speak in public. I have just ended Lost In Carranza, a new short film that means a lot to me because I worked on it for almost 3 years now. For now, Lost In Carranza got 7 nominations and won three awards in different film festivals around the world, the film works very well and I am truly honoured to get so much love, support and recognition from the public. I couldn't have dreamed better.!
Lost In Carranza has already had an amazing festival run, did you expect to get the reaction you've gotten for your film? "
I was very surprised by the first feedbacks because my biggest fear was to make it too personal. When film directors work too long alone on a project, they can easily get lost, especially when the editing part will define their entire narration. That's what happened to me. So at the time, I had absolutely no idea of how the audience will react to my work.
You won Best Documentary at the Short Sweet Film Festival & Redline International Film Festival what has won these awards meant to you?
I felt released because making a complicated film like that is like being pregnant... So the day I won the Short Sweet Film Festival, I was very happy because I knew that the public finally understood my vision.
What was it like to be part of the 14th ÉCU Film Festival?"
I will always support indie film festivals. The ÉCU Film Fest has always supported my vision from the beginning by being the first one in Europe to select my film when no one knew about it at the time. I am truly honoured to have been included in the Official Selection with such stellar and talented people.
What goes through your mind when your screening at a festival?
When I was younger, I admired the great film directors and I dreamed of equalling them by being screened in festivals too. But in the past, my first film tests lacked singularly of maturity and the rejections from the festivals were plentiful. When I heard about my first nomination a few months ago, I just couldn’t believe it and I checked my emails a few time just to be sure it wasn’t a mistake...! When I realized that all of that was real, I got very excited but I have to admit I became also very nervous at the same time because all of that new exposure was new to me.
Can you tell me a little bit about Lost In Carranza, how did this film come about?
Three years ago, when I met Pablo Carranza in the streets of San Francisco, I instantly knew that I should make a film with him. We didn't talk a lot but I saw that more than just a good actor, that there was something about his dark past deep inside him.
Without any budget, we started to make a short film together. I expected the best from him because I didn't want anything superficial. Only the best or nothing. I tried to enter his soul to understand who he was in order to identify his weaknesses. And he didn't like it. So I started to be hard on him. And it was getting worse and worse. During 16 days, I tried to push his limits as far as he could bear.
How did you first meet Pablo Carranza?
At the time, I was working on another short film in Los Angeles, but to be honest, the shooting wasn’t going well because I had money issues. I needed a break and a friend of mine invited me to visit San Francisco for a few days.
One day, I was hanging in Mission District and I remember sawing Pablo and a French photographer shooting for a magazine in the street. I was impressed by his skateboarding level and I came to see them to offer my help as an assistant. It was a very nice sunny day and Pablo offered me a great local experience by showing me all the cool secret spots in SF. Since that day, we became very good friends. Two weeks later, we started shooting together, and this is how it all began.
What was it about Pablo's story that connected with you as a filmmaker?"
Through this story of addiction, I wanted to talk about how drugs can affect our dreams, hopes, career or our relationship with others. Even if Pablo's story stays very personal, I think it can talk to anyone because we all have a dark passenger or different weaknesses to fight every day. The question is how to do it. We all have our own story, Lost In Carranza is just one of them.
Did you have any reservations about making a documentary that would focus on drugs and addiction?
No, because drug scourge is a real issue and people need to know about it. I think it’s also part of my job to always try to inform people in some way through my art.
Looking back do you think you would approach making this film differently?
I have many regrets about how I made this film but I think my approach would stay the same today, because this is how I work, and always will. When I am making an art project, I try to establish a real connexion between my actor and myself. As the art director, photographer or filmmaker, my staging direction and my intentions always remain the same: I am perpetually looking for strong feelings in order to capture a significant instant.
What was the most challenging part of bringing Lost In Carranza to life?
It's an art project and a short film at the same time, a timeless moment in Pablo Carranza's life between fiction and reality. Every shot in this film is true. So after the shooting, I could barely go near the editing because I learned that Pablo had really fallen back into hard drugs in real life thereafter because of me. I blamed myself a lot and I started to experience some drugs as well for the first time. Through this bad experience, I discovered what addiction really is and I then understood that I was finally ready to edit this film.
What was the most valuable lesson you've taken from making this film?
Making a film will never be an excuse to justify any manipulation or bad behaviour.
Since making Lost In Carranza have you been able to be more reflective in yourself as a filmmaker, the approach and choices you make in our work?
Making a film is a life experience, and sometimes reality may, unfortunately, exceed fiction... I'm proud of Pablo but I'm not proud of myself. Not as a filmmaker but as a human being, because I know I crossed the line to make this film. But where are the lines when it's all about making art? Here is the question that I will ask myself for the rest of my life.
Have you always been interested in filmmaking?
Always. When I was a child, I felt a bit of an outsider, more sensitive than average and with a different perception of the world around me. I always felt this need to write and share stories by writing, taking pictures or making films.
What has been the best piece of advice you've been given?
To always create with the heart. It’s not the camera which counts but the soul of the film and the story we really want to tell.
Now you can be reflective do you have any advice you would offer a fellow filmmaker?
I would like to advise the new generation of upcoming film directors to break the rules and follow their instinct no matter what. It’s not a free ride, but never give up and always fight to pursue your dreams. Everything is possible, the only limits are the ones we self-impose by being afraid of the unknown.
And finally, what do you hope people will take away from this film?
I really hope people will like Lost In Carranza but more importantly, if this film can help some people to stop doing drugs, that would be the first victory. Today, Pablo is sober and now the time has come to let go of the film... It's yours. I hope it finds you and brings you joy and hope. Thank you very much.