Welcome to this blog on practice-based film research. The blog contains links to previous works, such as documentaries and short films. The blog also documents the creative development and production process of different practice-based research projects that I am at present involved in.
I am a Lecturer in Film Practice at the Edinburgh College of Art, where I mainly teach scriptwriting and directing. I am also an academic collaborator at the Scottish Documentary Institute SDI
I studied Directing at the Amsterdam Film Academy where I graduated with the Documentary Una Nave per Tornare, which screened at IDFA. At the Binger Film Institute of the Amsterdam University of Arts I studied a Postgraduate Programme in Screenwriting and Directing Drama, taught by among others Gyula Gazdag, Ken Dancyger, Judith Weston and Mark Travis. I have participated in different talent labs, such as the Cine Qua Non Lab in Mexico, the Torino Film Lab and Berlinale Talents. In 2015 I obtained my PhD in Creative and Performing Arts from the Leiden University.
In Times of Rain, is my first feature drama film. It is a micro-budget feature set in Mexico and filmed in an Indigenous community and in Mexico City with a combination of professional actors and non-trained actors. Dialogue is in Spanish and Mixtec (an indigenous language) and has been subtitled to Spanish, English, Italian, French and Polish.
The film is one of the first feature drama films in Mexico made in extensive collaboration with an Indigenous community and in collaboration with key Indigenous creative staff (Producer, Scriptwriter, Assistant Director, multiple cast members). Furthermore, the film has substantial dialogue in an Indigenous Language that is at present spoken in Mexico. The film investigates how film can express the complex implications and consequences of migration from rural communities to urban centres with regard to Indigenous Identity and cultural heritage, through cinematic narrative and aesthetic approaches.
The script for the film was written based on extensive ethnographic and documentary research. The directing of the piece in terms of camera, performance, colour palette, costume design, etc. was based on extensive analysis of Indigenous films as well as of local traditions and artistry. The film premiered in the official competition of the Guanajuato International Film Festival in Mexico in 2018 and was nominated for Best Mexican Film. The film has since screened in community venues, international film festivals and a variety of academic institutions.