“Mis Hijos”: Interview with Edoardo De Armas, De Anza College

| March 9, 2016

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In the intensely personal Mis Hijos, a father’s poem reaches across borders to resonate deeply abroad. We chatted with Edoardo De Armas about his poetic film, Mis Hijos.

Mis Hijos will screen as part of Cinequest’s Short Program 9A – College – International Stories

Mis Hijos by Edoardo De Armas

Mis Hijos by Edoardo De Armas

How did you get into film?

I moved to the United States 10 years ago from Venezuela, during my first class in middle school. I saw kids my age doing the Morning Announcement, and I thought that was the coolest thing in the world. I’ve been doing broadcasting and film production ever since.

How did Mis Hijos come to be? How much of this film is based off personal experience?

After my sister and I moved to the United States from Venezuela, my father wrote a poem about the aftermath of our departure. This poem not only expressed his deep sadness about us but also paralleled his feeling about Venezuela. He was excited when I told him the idea to bring his poem to a visual medium. I got the opportunity to shoot 35mm film at De Anza College, where I embarked on a unique journey to tell my story.

Father comforting his hijo.

Father comforting his hijo.

Walk us through your production and any challenges you faced.

From the inception of the idea and our final result, it took about a year. We ran through your typical challenges of getting locations, actors, funding, but the most terrifying of all was when we saw rattlesnakes on top of our equipment. It really speaks to the saying that what can happen will happen; fortunately nobody got hurt and the snakes went on their way.

Mis Hijos

Mis Hijos

Who do you cite as influences?

Previous from making this film, I had no idea that this is part of a film-poem genre. During the creative process I never looked for any influences since the source of the poem was my father, so I just talked to him about his feelings when he was writing the poem.

Mis Hijos filmmaker Edoardo De Armas

Mis Hijos filmmaker Edoardo De Armas

Tell us about your De Anza experience.

The De Anza College film department is amazing. It has helped me grow so much, not only on a personal level but professionally as well. The professors really care about you and I have developed a huge respect and trust for them. You get to work with many different people from all over the world in De Anza and I have learned to trust their creative inputs and utilize their ideas and comments to expand on my stories. I have learned the true collaborative notion of filmmaking, which is priceless.

Do you have any advice for student filmmakers?

I’m a student filmmaker myself but what I can share is that it took me over 10 years to find my voice and I only found it after making Mis Hijos. My voice is to share the immigrant story and the transculturalism in America, to start and help the New Latino-American Cinema Wave. You don’t just want to make cool film, but films that have a social context and bring issues people are not talking about.

 

Edoardo De Armas is a Venezuelan director and cinematographer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is working on transferring to a film school in Los Angeles and starting his own production company.

Learn more about Edoardo on his website: dearmasimages.com

Follow Edoardo on Instagram @e.dearmas

Mis Hijos screens as part of Cinequest’s Short Program 9A – College – International Stories showcase on Friday, March 11 @ 7pm, and Saturday, March 12 @ 1:15pm.

All screenings are at Camera 12 Cinemas in San Jose, CA.

Click to read more Cinequest interviews.

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Funders

Film School Shorts is made possible by a grant from Maurice Kanbar, celebrating the vitality and power of the moving image, and by the members of KQED.

Film School Shorts is a production of KQED.

KQED

Credits

Series Producer
Lisa Landi

Associate Producer
Julia Shackelford

Editor
Peter Borg

Design
Zaldy Serrano
Christina Zee White

Original Music
Written and Produced by
Trifonic

Audio
John Andrieni

Interactive
Kevin Cooke
Marie K Lee

Social Media Specialist
Aldo Mora-Blanco

Publicity
Sarah Hoffner

On Air Promotion
Bridget Louie

Legal
William Lowery
Abby Staeble

Director of TV Production
Sandy Schonning

Executive Producer
Scott Dwyer