“El cine es una buena idea”
Being a filmmaker
Raquel Ruiz (45) is an administrative employee, but her vocation is cinema. With her husband, she set up a production company, filmed a documentary and arrived at the Cannes Festival.
Raquel Ruiz is one of those who want something and have the talent and the fortune to achieve it. But without great fortune -in economic terms- and yes with enormous capital in terms of talent, vocation, commitment. She is a movie lover. And not only as a spectator: she likes to see it but above all, to do it. And to such an extent is the thing that in May of this year, for one of his films - a documentary -, he had the privilege of arriving in Cannes, one of the most important cinematographic festivals in the world.
From Monday to Friday, Raquel Ruiz (45) reads, collates, calculates and signs papers leaning over a desk. That is their "formal"" job. Until four o'clock in the afternoon and reconnects with ""his"". It is defined as a self-taught person about cinema. And at the same time, as a chronic student: “I started with Psychology. I spent five years, I paid almost all the finals but I did not receive it, ”he says."
Some time later, he began his Anthropology career. He also studied –study still– a BA in Social Communication at the University of La Plata, the city where he lives. And although at the moment she did not obtain any of those titles, she knows that one day they will be received, although she admits that the titles do not reveal her. "I recently received a scholarship to do a Master in Film Direction at the Spanish faculty in San Miguel and since I didn't have a degree, they didn't want to give it to me."" He was able to prove his five years of film experience - ""I earned it,"" he repeated to himself - and managed to be allowed to study. ""I'm going to have a Master before the race!"", He laughs."
That record of Raquel materialized in Lona y Viruta, the documentary that she directed and that took her to Cannes –with Talisman Films, the producer that she has with Oscar Aguerre, her husband and partner– and that garnered a dozen international awards.
The production traveled to France to participate in the Short Film Corner space. The short tells the life of a circus community. “It was a year's work with the Circo de las Américas. We went to all the shows and accompanied them to functions in the interior of the province of Buenos Aires. It is not accidental, because as a girl I always liked circuses. I think they accepted our proposal because we were interested in their history, we lived with them, we shared their world and we did not disrespect them as it had happened in other cases ”.
Talisman can be classified as a "family producer"". Raquel's husband, with whom she has been known since she was 18, studied film. ""We have a life together, we always watched movies of all kinds, we were modernizing, and one day we went from seeing to doing."" They have been producing for twenty years. First they filmed fifteen birthdays, later they were allowed to search for a story and later find the best way to tell it. ""The key is to have a good idea,"" says Raquel."
They are now joined by Camila (15), her daughter, who has already learned everything related to sound and who has collaborated with the latest works. And to complete the spirit of brotherhood, with his four year of life, Talisman has another friend of the marriage: Carlos Laetta, whom they met when they lived in Neuquén. "Carlos is in charge of the artistic production, Oscar films and I dedicate myself to doing everything that involves ethnographic work - the interviews, the talks - and the screenplay."""
Sensitive and passionate
The short film that earned them the selection for Cannes and other recognitions - among them, the award for the best documentary and the best photography at the Euro Film Festival in Marbella, the FICVI festival in Colombia and FENACO in Peru - addresses the history of the disappearance of the traditional circus to new technologies.
In Argentina, since 2006, the inclusion of animals in circus shows has been prohibited, so the attractiveness of these shows has been reduced to what their artists can offer. The impact was felt in the world of the native circus. "Unfortunately today entertainment does not go there, there is an industry that is dedicated to that and it is much more global and uniform,"" says Raquel. The documentary (the trailer can be seen at https://vimeo.com/97182407) portrays the romanticism that encourages each one of these artists, but that is becoming invisible with the change of era. ""Lona y Viruta is a metaphor for what is happening in this exclusive, capitalist world, where everything is being demodé, and all these trades are marginalized"", Raquel completes, in coherence with the letters of introduction that went up on the web: “We are an independent film producer. We form a team of sensitive and passionate people and full of doubts. So we make documentaries. We integrate a space where ideas, dreams, cinema, photography, anthropology and music intersect ”."
Down the red carpet
The screening of the short film, in one of the Cannes theaters, before almost a hundred experts, in addition to collecting sustained applause - "We were applauded a lot, it was very nice!"" -, captured the attention of a very important producer in Spain . It could not have been better: ""They liked our work, we talked, and in the end we ended up signing a contract to handle the distribution of the film."" In addition to the economic stimulus, this means that Lona y Viruta now travels the planet."
Owner of foolproof perseverance, always reaping more knowledge and unconcerned about academic giants, Raquel declares herself satisfied with the balance she achieved between her work and her vocation, without having to resign anything. “Honestly, I don't mind my administrative work. But I could not do it if, on the other hand, I could not fulfill my desire, my vocation. I would have died if I didn't have the chance to channel these artistic, intellectual concerns. ”
Back in Cannes he saw all kinds of celebrities. He saw, among many others, passing Woody Allen; shared row in the re-release of the Official History, nothing more and nothing less than with its director, Luis Puenzo; was on the edge of the red carpet and its stars.
“What is important is the uniqueness of the experience. We didn't get to the celebrities, more than a selfie, maybe if I could have sat down to chat with the Coen brothers and ask them about one of their movies, ask them for some advice, well… ”, he jokes.
Raquel says that in Argentina it is very difficult to live from the cinema. But at the same time he admits that there are certain facilities that have to do with the times: “Today, without a doubt, access is easier than in other times because, for example, you do not need an executive producer; Social networks are very suitable means of information and dissemination. We, from a very small, low-budget and self-managed production, patiently managed to put together a circuit and systematize it. ” His smile overflows his face and enthusiasm is evident in his moving hands: he has just won another recognition - number thirteen - with his latest documentary. And you are already thinking about how to bring in the circuses, fill a room, here, in your country and that they can see themselves in a big way. In addition, he anticipates, he has the idea for his next movie, some scenes, especially one, that of the dog sleeping peacefully next to the man, until something wakes him up ...
In her head, Raquel is already filming.