Roxana Badillo and Jorge Pagán review their scenes during the filming that takes place inside and outside of residences in Utuado. (Jorge A Ramirez Portela)
UTUADO.- In the urban area of Utuado, specifically the Cuba, San Carlos and Cumbre Alta neighborhoods, an enthusiastic community resurgence is experienced and felt thanks to the filming of the Puerto Rican film “La clara del guaraguao” , directed by Vicente Castro.
The first project carried out by the director, after Hurricane María and in the midst of the pandemic, has become a “claw” to the area, since since the filming of the film began last week, revitalization and neighborhood restoration thanks to community self-management.
The residents of the urban community that is located on a slope of the municipality have created an urban art scene with about 30 murals that cover the houses with color and hope. In the neighborhoods there are families with rollers and brushes in their hands, along with graffiti artists and muralists covering the area that will also be the protagonist of the story that Castro was going to take to the theater, but before the closure of the theaters due to the health crisis, he chose on the big screen.
Residents of the various communities where the filming is taking place have collaborated by creating murals that are part of the setting for the film. (Jorge A Ramirez Portela)
The arrival of the filming trucks, of the actors Roxana Badillo, Carlos Esteban Fonseca, Edwin Emil Moró, Jasond Calderón, Jorge Blanco, Marla Báez and Jorge Luis Ramos, along with students from the University of Puerto Rico of the Utuado Campus that make up the The film's cast have optimistically transformed the urban community. It is a renovation of the neighborhood, to make a community visible through art and cinema.
“This is a neighborhood story. We are facing a project where the community has been completely buzzed together with us and has spoken to us in the best way. Our purpose with this project is broader. We are determined to revitalize the urban area of Utuado and to offer it a cultural and educational alternative, where we can create a film workshop in the town for the benefit of the entire central mountain range ”, Castro enthusiastically explained in the middle of one of the first scenes that it is filmed in a restored residence that was loaned for production. Last Friday's scene was recreated by actors Roxana Badillo, Jorge Pagán and Eliasaf Vázquez.
The participation of the community in the production that requires a total investment of $ 60,000 has been such that even part of the props has been achieved with donations and borrowed items. Bars, inns and rooms in vacant houses have been recreated to be projected in the film.
Among the challenges facing filming in the midst of the pandemic, he assured that starting filming would be the main obstacle, since there are still many inoperative sectors. In order to start with the filming that should extend until the middle of next week in Utuado, with indoor and outdoor recordings, all workers and actors were tested for COVID-19.
“It was necessary to start now. Culture and the artistic class is one of the most affected and we want and are determined to show that we can move forward despite the pandemic, earthquakes and hurricanes. It is true that we are in a pandemic, but everyone is protecting themselves in the community. The important thing is to follow the protocol, ”said the director, who also offers an acting course at the University of Puerto Rico in Utuado.
Given the situation of the pandemic, acting training for university students was online.
Castro explained that the plot of the film is inspired by the metaphors of Cain and Abel or Romulus and Remus, since two first cousins face each other and one dies at the hands of the other.
The director Vicente Castro has promoted a cultural revitalization project in the center of the island, from the performing arts. (Jorge A Ramirez Portela)
“It is a story of how a neighborhood family that may be from Utuado takes hold of the religious structure when it loses a family member. This religious structure is necessary because it offers us a backbone when it comes to behaving within an ethic. Doña Providencia's family is trying to find a balance at a time when the harmony and balance of the family were completely out of balance due to the fact of blood, “said the director about the film that should be ready by the end of this year.
The plot takes place entirely in the municipality of Utuado. Castro understands that history is pertinent for youth and families who lose their north and stability in the face of various life situations.
“We are trying to give importance to the family nucleus, without nostalgia for the past, but rather that we see it in a different context without losing the concept of unity and of the collective as a family,” Castro said about the script of the film, which is an adaptation from the play “El callejón de los cuernos” by Jorge Rodríguez.
The director's plan with film production is to be able to market it for any content platform, cinema and even for commercial channels, and he assured that he has already received approaches in this regard.