Martin Capatinta (Director, LAKINO Film Festival)

14.09.2010 - Interview conducted by Jessica Dick

Q1. How do you think that films, in particular, short films can change the perception of Latin America in Europe?

I don’t know if this question has an answer because I don’t know if it can change the perception of the European people with art.

Q2. Is this because you were talking about clichés earlier and the fact that you were trying to avoid clichés?

But you have clichés in all statements in all different things. If you see a person like me and you ask “Where do you come from? Oh maybe you’re Peruvian?’’ or you see pamphlets on the street and then you know they’re Latin American, so it’s easy to reconnect the clichés. It’s very difficult to change the perception of Europe as the big companies in Latin America are mainly European. With art there’s a big connection of course, because the art comes from European artists. They’re coming back, but in another form with cinema, paintings, and sculptures.

Q3. Many forms of art is a collaborative process. In your experience, how would you characterise the ability of art to bring people together and cooperate?

Well, if your painter works a lot then you work with your own monsters. When you work on a film you have to think as a team. Even just being a couple with somebody, a normal relationship, is very tough, you must know that, so try to have a relationship with eight people. They have to adjust to the same pace as you. You need to have a symbiosis with your team and that’s different to theatre because in theatre you have to live with them as with film it’s only one shot, well maybe two or three. In music it’s also more or less the same as you have to be in touch with the people. We like the same tunes and we like the same feeling. Maybe we want the same lyrics as well?

Q4.What are the main challenges during cultural projects between Latin American and Europe. Are there a lot of obstacles that you have to overcome culturally? And how can both sides learn from each other as well.

There are always obstacles. First what we need is short films from Latin America, but it’s not easy so we are improving our strategies all the time. We had to change our strategies, but it worked as at one point over 6 months we had 180 movies, and now we have two times that, so it worked very well. I like to work in a team, but I don’t like being a director. I obviously have the last word because I have to decide, but I need to listen to everybody else’s opinions because that way you’re able to improve on your initial idea, so it was very nice to get people from Berlin to help me with that.  We need the public to come to the cinema and watch all these films that we were collecting. There’s also the marketing part and it was very difficult because we are new here. How do we get people who have a new idea in Berlin? There are a lot of events going on every day and that’s your competition in Berlin. It’s something you need to conquer, and we solve a lot of obstacles on both sides here in Europe and Latin America. In Europe right now I’m going to a lot of different festivals because they like the idea and to have that feeling of Berlin. The same thing doesn’t happen in Stuttgart however. You will not have the same kind of success.