Sebastián Cordero is a filmmaker with 25 years of experience and director of successful feature films such as Rats, Mice and Thieves, Chronicles, Europa Report, Rage, Fisherman and Sin Muertos No Hay Carnaval.
He is surprised and considers that the invitation he has received from the Academy of Cinematographic Arts and Sciences is a recognition of the work he does in Ecuador and also a sign of inclusion and diversification of said organization.
What does this recognition mean to you?
At first I did not expect it, but in recent years the Academy has a policy of diversity and inclusion and every year it makes a big invitation to quite a few people. This year there are more than 800 new members, it sounds a lot, but seeing the list of directors and categories are professionals that I admire and respect a lot and it is an honor.
How did you find out about the news?
It was with the press release, they did not contact me before, they just did it today (Wednesday). It was a great surprise because I read it, I started receiving calls and messages from friends from other countries that are in the Academy because they passed me a WhatsApp with the link and more and more messages came.
Why was it a “big surprise”?
Because when seeing the list of the guests, several are people who in the last two years have sounded a lot and I have not been active in the United States in the last three years. Rather I was concentrated here in Ecuador and with other projects, even doing theater, but that impresses me because it means that it is for the entire career, not for the last film or production.
What will be your job now with the Academy?
I will be a voting member who will still participate in the voting for the Oscar Awards. We are more than 9,000 members, so my participation is small but it is small. The truth is that I myself am beginning to find out the details, I was not so clear about everything.
How does this integration influence your future projects?
I think that recognition always helps, but finally I maintain that it goes hand in hand with the projects that one has and I do not feel that at this moment it opens more doors for me, but it does give more legitimacy to everything that is made of cinema.
How do you take this opportunity that the Academy gives you?
In my case, I am a filmmaker who in some way points in two directions: on the one hand, I am interested in having an international career in world cinema. On the other hand, I have valued and have not stopped giving great importance to cinema in Ecuador and helping the local industry to continue growing.
Does this award reflect the quality of productions in the country?
Making a film is not easy, it is a process of years and it is what it takes, finally you have to keep building with one job after another and that they are very diverse. And that requires infrastructure support and many things, so it is important to give it the value it deserves.
How difficult is it to make cinema in Ecuador?
It has always been difficult and although there has been more support in recent years, what has been achieved is much and should not be detracted from. But seeing that institutions around the world are striving to develop cinematography as much as possible, realize the importance that cinema has for the culture of each country, its identity, and its desire to make itself known abroad . I feel like we fall pretty short here.
What remains to be done to make national cinema more valued?
It is a very broad question, that is my dream and that of many, that the projects that are born have their appreciation and support. There are many things in the equation. Novel projects are needed that reach the public and are interested in the production here and not only in Hollywood and horror, although it seems that we are so connected by the internet and everything is like living in a very small bubble and there are than to open that bubble.
What projects are you working on?
I don’t like going into so many details, but you have to rethink everything. I have serious doubts that I will film my next feature film in this 2020 and hopefully yes in 2021. I also have another project that if everything goes well will be filmed next year. Of course, the issue of the pandemic and the situation we live in is changing everything.
Do you work in a collaboration?
Yes, in the second film by Alfredo León called Submersible, that the plan was to release it this year, but with what we are living we see what would be the best way, because we are waiting about how and when the rooms will open.
I am also with a Peruvian film that has already been filmed and is in post-production. And, well, I’m always moving. ( I )