Randy Gordon-Gatica set out to make a film that is representative of his culture.
The Mexican-American filmmaker says it was important to him to give Latinos a voice in film.
“I don’t see people like myself on screen,” he says. “There is movement in Hollywood. But it’s really slow for Latinos. I wanted my film to put Latino actors at the forefront. I wanted to make a Hollywood-sized film and put Latinos in a lead role.”
The New York-based filmmaker will screen his film “The Magic Bomb” at the Las Cruces International Film Festival on March 9.
The festival begins on March 7 and runs through March 11.
“The Magic Bomb” is the story of a Mexican-American who gets enmeshed in a plot to nuke Manhattan on his wedding day.
The budget was zero dollars.
It was filmed over the course of a two-year period, all on a Canon 7D. Oh, and it was shot daily between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., while his children were in school.
“I read somewhere that Lena Dunham had shot her first feature film on a Canon 7D,” he says. “I thought I would give it a try.”
Living in New York, Gordon-Gatica has access to many talented actors, which he is grateful for because filming was done on no budget.
“I cooked many of the meals for the cast myself,” he says. “When I jumped in, I was all in. It was a project that I wanted to get made.”
Gordon-Gatica recently screened the film for an audience for the first time.
“It was just fabulous to see the reaction,” he says. “It’s been an incredible journey.”
The trip to Las Cruces will be his first, and he’s looking forward to networking and seeing films.
“Film festivals are great, because you have such a diverse audience,” he says. “The attendees are usually film fans. So I’ll work on selling the movie to them to see it. I’m also looking forward to see what the other filmmakers are showing.”
Because Gordon-Gatica helmed nearly the entire project, he’s learned to hustle.
He worked the camera, edited the film and produced it. He also did the casting.
“Using limited resources, I’ve attempted the impossible. I wanted to create something that is relevant to what’s happening in the world today, is entertaining, cinematic, and watchable to a general audience,” he says. “My first great inspiration was simply being an audience member. It revealed endless possibilities of directions of where I could take my life into. Casting Latino actors in leading roles of my story gives me the hope I might provide this inspiration for others.”
SEND ME YOUR TIPS: If you know of a movie filming in the state, or are curious about one, email film@ABQjournal.com. Follow me on Twitter @agomezART.