I always thought that once a film is finished (or abandoned, as someone said once…), it no longer belongs to the filmmakers – it belongs to the audience. The WILDsound festival is the perfect illustration of that. I very much appreciate the fact that your audience took the time to watch MEDIATION in the first place, and then chose to stay after the screening to discuss it. As a writer-director, I couldn’t ask for more – if there is an audience that cares enough to talk about a film I wrote and directed, then I’ve done my job.
– Filmmaker Francisco Lorite, on the WILDsound Experience (Review)
Mediation was awarded Best Cinematography at the April 2015 Film Festival
Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video of MEDIATION:
Matthew Toffolo interviews director Francisco Lorite:
Matthew: What motivated you to make this film?
Francisco: The main goal behind making a short film was to launch Top Rebel Productions, the company Bill Winett, Freddy Rodriguez and I co-founded in 2014. We wanted a piece out there that could say “We’re here. If you like this film, maybe you’ll like the next one too.” Luckily the response has been incredible. I’m very grateful for that. My personal reason for making this short film, is my love for genre cinema in general and film noir in particular; I also thought the setting of a divorce mediation would allow me to tell a very human story while letting me have some fun with the conventions of film noir.
Matthew: From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?
Francisco: We were actually planning to shoot an entirely different short film; a visual effects-heavy sci-fi piece I had written and was looking forward to directing. But, at the very last minute, the VFX company that had signed up to do all our effects (for free!) went bankrupt. So, in order to keep our momentum going, not lose the little financing we’d raised and keep the original shooting days, I had to come up with another story. I wrote MEDIATION very quickly and we shot it in 3 days. Post-production of course was a lengthier process but only because, understandably, we had to work around people’s schedules and their other bigger/much more lucrative gigs.
Matthew: Talk about your cast: The performances were all exceptional. How did you find these actors and what type of rehearsals did you have?
Francisco: I was very lucky to have such a great cast to help me tell this story. I met Freddy Rodriguez a few years ago to discuss a feature film we both wanted to make, but the financing for it never came together (we’re actually talking about reviving that project now!) We became friends and eventually decided to start a production company together, along with producer Bill Winett. Freddy knew the great Marley Shelton from filming Robert Rodriguez’ “Grindhouse” with her, and he recommended her to me to play his soon-to-be ex-wife in MEDIATION. After that, all I needed was a mediator that could spar with Freddy and Marley; Marilyn Sanabria was the actress for the job. We rehearsed quite a bit because I knew our budget would force us to move fast and would not ever allow us to do many takes (I think 4 is the highest we ever went.)
Matthew: What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
Francisco: There are two very distinct parts to making a film: A) actually making it (that includes the writing, the prep, the shoot, the editing, the mix, etc.) and B) selling it (which includes pitching the project, finding the financing to make the film, marketing it afterward, etc.) A and B require very different skill sets and both present their own challenges. The good news is that, the digital revolution has made some aspects of making a film and getting it seen, a little more democratic. Film festivals like yours are part of the good news too, as they provide a platform where film and audience can meet.
Matthew: What film have you seen the most in your life?
Francisco: It would be too hard to boil it down to just one. I watch movies ALL THE TIME and some of those, over and over again. So here’s a handful, in no particular order:
The Magnificent Seven
Le Pere Noel Est Une Ordure
The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
The Getaway (Sam Peckinpah’s)
My Name Is Nobody
Hable on Ella
WATCH THE TRAILER FOR “MEDIATION”:
“Francisco Lorite is a filmmaker to keep an eye on…” – SCREENCRAFT
“Lorite generates a buzz that puts him in the ranks of established film directors…” – SCREENFAD
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Deadline: FEEDBACK Toronto Film Festival:
– FULL FEEDBACK on your film from the audience. Garner an audience feedback video on your film.