Tag Archives: Mexican Actors

Producer Antonio Vigna connects with his culture in new film ‘Dia de Muertos’

Antonio Vigna had dreams of being an actor ever since he was a child. When he first watched a film, he pictured himself in front of the camera, stepping into another’s shoes and showing the world his passion. However, what Vigna did not anticipate was his love for being behind the camera, helping put together every aspect of a film. Now, as both an actor and producer, Vigna is known internationally for what he does.

As an actor, Vigna has shown the world his talent in films such as Perfection and Klaazor. Working behind the scenes, his work producing the films Camilla and Consumemate contributed to the films great success at many international film festivals. The highlight of Vigna’s career, however, comes from producing the film Dia de Muertos (English translation to Day of the Dead), which allowed him to connect with his Mexican heritage.

“Dia de Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is one of my favorite traditions from my country, so the moment I was told to produce a script that had the tradition as part of it, I wanted to be involved in the film, no matter what,” said Vigna.

The film follows a young Mexican woman struggles to keep on living after the death of her loved one, but during the Mexican holiday, The Day of the Dead, she experiences a contact with him that changes her life. It was written by Laura Gudiño, who also starred in the film. Gudiño knew of Vigna’s work, and knew she needed a producer of his caliber to take her film to a success.

“Antonio was my producer and he helped me so much and made the whole process easy. In this industry, you always want people who are easy going, that you know you can work with them for days, and he’s definitely a person you’d like to have in any team. Antonio has great work ethic. He is very responsible and creative. In addition to that, he is an easy going, friendly person so in any project I have worked with him, I know everything will be alright,” said Gudiño. “I think in this industry, the more you know about it and the more you explore, the more you understand everybody’s job and the more valuable you are. Antonio has been a reporter, a journalist, an actor, a producer, an AD, a writer, etc. I believe, thanks to all of that journey, he has become very good at anything he does. Knowledge opens doors, and he has definitely opened many.”

Because Vigna knew he would be working on the film months before pre-production, he had time to put together the ideal team. He believes it is the best crew he has ever made. He also decided on the process for the film. Initially, the supporting actor was not going to have to audition, but Vigna knew to hire a casting director and have a formal casting for the film in order to find the best person. After the auditions, they cast someone else, rather than the original actor, knowing that with such a small cast, it was necessary to have the perfect person. Without Vigna, this would not have happened.

Initially, the casting director wanted Vigna to audition for the role, but he refused. He wanted to make sure the film was the best it could be, and for him to do that, he would have had to step away from producing to focus on creating the character.

“I declined the offer to act in the film, as I had already a few months working on it as a Producer. I don’t regret it at all, since this is one of the films that I’m most proud of,” said Vigna.

The decision proved to be the right one, as the film made its way to some of the world’s most prestigious film festivals. After premiering at the Film Festival of Cannes 2017 Short Film Corner, it made its way to the Los Angeles San Rafael Film Festival, Tulipanes Film Festival, and the Cinetekton Film Festival. However, the awards and accolades are not as important to the producer. For Vigna, the passion he felt for the story helped his drive, ensuring that every decision he made, every road block he overcame, was perfect. The Latino passion, he says, was felt on set all the time, even though most of the people there were not Hispanic at all. 

“I think that I liked the fact that we were portraying a Mexican tradition at its best on screen. Most of the films out there from our country talk about drugs or corruption, but we took just one of the beauties in our culture, to share it with everyone in the world,” Vigna concluded. “Most of the people don’t know the best parts of our Latino culture, so it’s important to show the other side of the coin. Also, there are Latinos all over the world, who can feel identify with the film, and reconnect with Dia de Muertos. It’s hard when you weren’t born in our country to feel it just like us, especially having Halloween, shadowing it, so strongly in United States, even among the Hispanic culture. So, we need to keep our traditions with their meanings strong enough for everyone appreciate it as we do.”

Advertisements

From the Theater to the Silver Screen, Actress Daniela Mandoki!

Actress Daniela Mandoki in the film "Obediencia Perfecta"
Actress Daniela Mandoki in the film “Obediencia Perfecta”

Recognized throughout Mexico for her roles on the popular shows María Belén and La Rosa de Guadalupe, Daniela Mandoki has created an astonishing reputation as a go-to actress for a variety of challenging roles.

Mandoki’s most recent film roles include Valeria in Divina Confusión and Laura in Obediencia Perfecta. Unfolding like a love story gone sour, Divina Confusión opens with a melancholy dialogue about moving on between Dante, played by Damer, and Javier, played by Xabiani Ponce de Leon who plays Marco on Disney’s hit series Violetta. The way the dialogue proceeds on an emotional level leads audiences to believe that the two men are lovers, however, with the appearance of Valeria, played by Daniela Mandoki, we quickly learn that the two men are talking about moving on from their band and Valeria is in fact Javier’s girlfriend.

“It was a very smart way to distract the audience,” explained Mandoki. “It’s incredible how we as the audience jump to conclusions forgetting that close relationships go beyond romance.”

In addition to her work on-camera, Daniela Mandoki has also starred in a lengthy list of well-known theater productions under the direction of world renowned directors including Emmy and Oscar Award winner Milton Justice and Christopher Thornton who is known for the films Sympathy for Delicious, Hitched, I’m With Stupid, Pretty Persuasion, Welcome To California, as well as many others.

Putting the vast nature of her craft on display, Mandoki took on two drastically different roles in Milton Justice’s production of “Our Town.” Taking the stage as both Rebecca Gibbs, an 8-year-old girl, and Mrs. Louella Soames, a 60-year-old woman, Mandoki transitioned with ease between the role of the young and naïve  Gibbs and the elderly town gossip and choir singer Mrs. Soames. A talented singer and musician herself, Mandoki amazed audiences across Los Angeles with her capacity as a vocalist in her performance of Mrs. Soames.

The actress proved her diversity once again when she took the stage in the male role of Schuppanzigh in the production of “Black Comedy” under the direction of Christopher Thornton. Mandoki’s remarkable theater resume also includes the productions of Juan Gabriel Moreno’s Delitto All’isola Delle Capre (Crime on Goat-Island), Ana Lourdes Lopez and Margarita Mandoki’s Abrir La Ventana (Open The Window), Israel Velasco’s El Paraiso De Los Gatos (Cat’s Paradise), and more.

Audiences in New York will have the opportunity to see Daniela perform this March in Elia K. Schneider’s upcoming theater production of “Judgment on a Gray Beach” where the actress will take the stage in the starring role of Josephine. A new production based on the work of Franz Kafka, the production will be held at the La MaMa theater. One of the most recognized venues for experimental theater in New York, La MaMa has received more than 30 OBIE Awards, as well as a long list of Drama Desk, Bessie and Villager Awards since its founding 50 years ago.

From the Stage to the Screen, Actress Maria Bosque Wows Audiences!

Maria Bosque in "The Seagull"
                                                                           Maria Bosque in “The Seagull”

Originally from Mexico City, Mexico, Maria Bosque is an actress whose extraordinary range and versatile look has put her front and center as a go-to talent for film and theater productions in both Latin America and the United States.

Over the course of her career Maria has landed starring roles in the films Ellas, Solo Yo, Final Test, Oh Jesus and many more. In her most recent film, Oh Jesus, Maria Bosque touches the hearts of international audiences in the role of Violet, a young woman who is made to feel shame over her homosexuality. Riddled with theological and sci-fi influences, Oh Jesus follows Violet on a journey spearheaded by a chance encounter with Jesus who leads her back in time in order to decipher and repair the ill-fated event that brought about her homosexuality. However during her journey with Jesus, Violet discovers something much more valuable than the anecdote for her homosexuality– self-love and acceptance. After realizing that she cannot spend her entire life running away from herself and her problems, Violet comes out of the closet with confidence professing her true feelings for the girl she is in love with.

A film with a powerful message for audiences across the world regardless of their individual sexuality, Maria Bosque brought Violet’s struggle to life in a way that is honest, relatable and downright beautiful. She explained, “I love playing strong female roles, and I love doing things that have an important message, especially for those girls that are going through a similar thing in their one lives.”

In addition to her work as an actress on film, Maria Bosque is renowned for her talents on stage as well. She got her first taste of the theater in the production of The Wizard of Oz in Victoria, Canada, and has since gone on to star in countless productions including Titus Andronicus, The Marriage of Bette and Boo, and The Seagull, as well as the plays Six Degrees of Separation, Waiting For Godot and Middleton, which were directed by Oscar winner Milton Justice.

“I like to choose characters that are very different from me, ones that I haven’t done before,” said Bosque.

In the production of Anton Checkov’s The Seagull, Maria played the starring role of Masha, an affluent young woman who repeatedly refuses the affections of Medvedenko in an effort to hold out for Konstantin the man with whom she is in love. A sad melodrama about unrequited love, Masha eventually gives in and marries Medvedenko and has his child, a choice that dooms her to live a depressed and unfulfilled life as she continues to harbor feelings for Konstantin.

“There is something very sad and beautiful about her. I guess I like the darker side of things because I am always very drawn to these types of characters,” admitted Bosque.

Audiences will have the opportunity to see Maria Bosque on stage in New York in March 2015 at the La MaMa Theater in the production of The Beach of Joseph K. Directed by multi-award winning director Elia Schneider, The Beach of Joseph K is an experimental work derived from the writings of Franz Kafka.

Mac Arellano, Far From a One Trick Pony!

Image

All too often we see actors who get pigeonholed early on in their careers playing the same redundant roles over and over until they’ve completely worn out the genre and the role, leaving the audience to believe that as far their talent goes they are nothing more than a one-trick-pony. Comedy actors are a great example, however that will never be the case with the incredible Mexican actor Mac Arellano. While Mac is a stellar comedy actor, he has made diversity a point in his career appearing in all genres of work from horror films like The Hunted, to heart-breaking dramas like the film Graduation.

 In Alec Baer’s The Hunted Mac plays Frank, the deceased best friend of co-star Sydney Beltramini who comes back to haunt Sydney and remind him of the unforgivable sins he has committed throughout his life as a criminal.  Frank (played by Mac) appears before Sydney covered in blood in Sydney’s broken down motel room, a scene that reminds Sydney that his actions were responsible for the death of his best friend.  Mac’s portrayal of Frank was mind-blowing. The role not only proved his ability to tap into the subtle traits of a feared ghost, which are more often than not overdone in a way that makes the character come off as corny, but also displayed his knack for the horror genre overall.

In the film Graduation, written and directed by Jeffrey Prosser, Mac’s performance in the starring role of George brought audiences to tears with his dramatic rendition of a middle-aged man who struggles to move on as a single father after the untimely death of his beloved wife. George (played by Mac), who was married and began a family in his 20s, is a hard worker who dedicates his life to providing his daughter with all tools she needs to get a solid education and build a life worth living, but his world gets flipped upside down once again when she gets pregnant and drops out of high school. The film is yet another testament to Mac’s extraordinary capacity for playing a wide range of roles, as well as his ability to realistically portray characters far outside of his age range.

Mac Arellano’s staggering talent is sure to keep him working for decades to come, and a feature that will keep him from ever falling into the feared category of one-trick-ponies.