When the school principal discovers a teacher distorted behavior on his students, she confronts the vile to save the life of a tormented young girl.
Director Jesse Gasca Garcia was born in Salinas, California. At the age of 18 he went on to study film at the University of Cal State Monterey Bay. Upon graduation, Garcia traveled to Mexico to direct the short documentary ‘Curanderismo.’ For his second short, Garcia returned to Salinas, California to direct the short drama ‘Abet.’ After, working in various professions in distinctive fields, Garcia, reappeared to direct the short drama ‘Gloom.’ The short drama won the Honorable Mention Award at the Independent Shorts Awards International Film Festival. He recently wrote and directed a short romance drama, ‘Bunco’ which has been selected to two international film festivals. He is currently working on his latest short ‘Chantoto’o.’
How did you start making films and what was the first film project you worked on?
I started making films when I was about 15 years old. I take my brother in law’s camcorder camera and began creating one-minute films, using family and friends as actors. However, it wasn’t until college when I endure such passion for film. There I got the opportunity to direct a live segment that was broadcast in the university’s local channel. Everything changed from that day forward. From there on I knew the pathway I wanted to take.
What genre of filmmaking are you looking to work on and why?
The genre I’m very passionate about is drama. The nature of human behavior is interesting, the passion, the desire, the hate, rage, the pleasure, the suffering, all of these emotions interconnect us in some way or form to the universe and to each other. Human behavior is universe of its own that needs vast exploring and it’s one of the reasons why I continue to work under this genre but for some particular reason mystery and horror have always been in my interest too.
What is the most challenging aspect of being an independent filmmaker?
There are many challenging aspects for independent filmmakers. Each filmmaker faces different challenges. One challenge I have personally face throughout my career is knowing how to own and believe in my own ideas. If you as a filmmaker don’t have a solid voice to stand and support your idea, script, visions, characters then all is lost. The cruel reality is that not if the filmmaker cannot voice out his ideas, then the project can be jeopardize. The filmmaker’s vision is the key element to a successful project.
How challenging is it to fund indie films?
Getting the money to fund a project is a challenge. It’s like walking through thin ice when it comes to finding funds for a film project. There are a lot of great indie projects out there stalled because of the lack of support. Although there’s many grants out there to support the budget of the film, many times is not enough.
Please name three of your most favorite directors. How have they been influential in your work?
Three of my favorite and inspirational directors are Alejandro Gonzales Innarritu, Alfonso Cuaron, and David Fincher. The Mexican directors have inspired me to challenge myself and to never give up on my idea of becoming a filmmaker. Both Alejandro and Alfonso have a unique film style that takes the stories to a higher level of passion and distress. Bringing the cruel reality of life into the screen. David Fincher, his camera movements help unfold the characters in his movies. It’s very unique how he reveals character behavior by camera movements. I find that very insightful as a filmmaker.
What is your next film project and what are you currently working on?
My next project is short drama film ‘Chantoto’o.’ The film is about Manuel, a homeless immigrant from Oaxaca Mexico, struggles to comprehend the harsh existence of poverty in the United States. In the midst of willingness to change for a better life, Manuel is face with the unstable and negative behavior from Luis. I’m currently in preproduction for the short film, we are schedule to start filming early May of 2022.
What was the inspiration behind your latest film project?
The unprecedent behavior which has erupted confusion and distress in this country inspired me to write Nociva. The idea also took form when I was working as a Behavior Specialist in a school setting. There, I saw the distress in students, the lack of attention, teacher discriminating on certain students. These unsettle feelings compacted in me to develop and create ‘Nociva.’
How did you find the cast and the crew of the film?
First a began looking for a DP. I posted ads in various film crew platforms. An interest, from a talented and creative DP, Jason Young, requested the offer. We immediately connected, he understood the story and my vision of the film. Jason came with great helped as he guided me through the process of the film. He is very insightful in finding knowledgeable film crew. For the actors I went on Backstage.com and posted the search for actors. Immediately, I found my email bombarded by hundreds of emails from potential actors interested in auditioning. We held both in person and zoom auditions. In the end we found amazing talent with the potential and creativity to deliver the best for ‘Nociva’.
What is the distribution plan of the film and did the film receive any screenings or was it featured in festivals?
Currently, Nociva is in the film festival circuit. It’s been selected in various festivals across the country and international. The distribution method for this film is to uploaded online so it can be available to the public.
Why do you make films and what kind of impact would your work have on the world?
Making films for me is a way of expressing my thoughts and feelings. It’s a way of communicating with the public. It’s a form of expressing life in many levels and exploring the inner connections we have with one another human on earth. I would like my films to impact the young generation. I would like them to be an inspiration to for them to succeed in life. To be creative, to explore art, to be expressive and to not give up. That’s the type of impact I want my films to have in the world.