Originally published in 2017
Mateo and his boyfriend, Marc, arrive home after a night out with Luke, a guy they've just met. After arguing with Marc, Mateo leaves the flat and bumps into Jon, their drug dealer. Mateo convinces Jon to take him to his house where he discovers he can't feel anything if it's not through pain.
Hi Osama, thanks for talking to The New Current, how's everything going?
It’s going well! We are very happy with the reception that the short film is getting. It’s a privilege to be part of the Cannes film festival when it turns 70 years old. And a pleasure that The New Current wants to interview us and know more about “Según Mateo”.
Congratulations on having Según Mateo part of this year’s short film corner, what does it mean for you to be able to share your film at Cannes?
It means a lot to us to share our film at Cannes. It’s always been one of our reference festivals. Some of the best films in film history have been part of this festival, so we are really proud to be included in this year’s short film corner.
With this being your debut film are there any nerves setting in ahead of the festival?
Of course. On one side, you feel really nervous to expose yourself for the first time and more so with a project that is as personal as this. But on the other side you feel the excitement and desire to share it with everyone. We are very curious to see what the audience feels about it.
How did the project come about?
I wrote the script six years ago and then I met Enrique and I thought he would be perfect for Mateo’s part. That’s how our adventure started. Then we suddenly started correcting the script together and we couldn’t think of anything else. And we realised the film not only spoke about problems within a couple but was also a metaphor of our current situation in Europe, where the lack of communication makes us end up with a really pessimistic ending. And shortly after shooting it we were confronted by Brexit, which really took us by surprise.
Tell me a little bit about Según Mateo, what can we expect?
You can expect a sexy story full of tension and intrigue. At first glance, the short film narrates the story of a young guy that has lost hope, but you can read it in many different ways.
What was the inspiration behind your film?
The original idea came up from a few friends’ stories that were in a very delicate time in their life, where they felt they were lost in some way and where only through pain could they feel any sort of feeling.
That’s where we found some sort of link to the Bible and the Gospel according to Mateo, where he writes about the Passion of Christ.
"Making a film is so hectic you make decisions that sometimes are not the best ones, but even then, that makes the film have its own personality and character."
What was the most challenging scene for you to film?
The scene in Jon's apartment. It was very hard to do. The scene required a really high emotional and concentration state by both actors. And we didn’t have enough time. We shot the film in only two and a half days. But the result was great.
Looking back is there anything you would do differently on this film?
There are so many things we would do differently. Making a film is so hectic you make decisions that sometimes are not the best ones, but even then, that makes the film have its own personality and character. Sometimes a bad decision helps making a better film.
Have you always been interested in filmmaking?
We have always been interested in filmmaking. Since we were children. Both of us.
What would you say has been the biggest lesson you have taken from making this film?
The biggest lesson I have learnt from making this film is that you have to believe in yourself and your views no matter how many times you have doubts.
Now you can be reflective what advice would you offer a fellow filmmaker?
The advice I would give is to never stop doing stuff. The truth is that's an advice I give myself every day. It's important to work, make films, make anything. No matter if it doesn't go anywhere or is not seen by anyone the truth is you have to keep making films.
And finally, what do you hope people will take away from your film?
For us, the most important thing was to make the audience think. We don't make moral judgments about our subjects, so we hope the audience will reflect on the film and the characters and their stories, and come to their own conclusions through their own experience.