Interview with Isabel Bernal

Winner in Madrid Filmmaker

Isabel Bernal (1991) is a Spanish actress, director and producer. His latest work, "I like your father" has been selected in 59 festivals and has won 29 awards.

Your project has been recognized in European Short Awards. Could you please provide a brief overview of your project and its significance in the context of our festival?
Leave Behind is a project that comes from the heart. It is the story of a girl who is torn between staying in the past or looking to the future.

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What were the key criteria or qualities you sought in selecting actors to participate in
your film? It all came about because it is a personal story that I wanted to play myself, in addition to directing it. For the role of the father, I was looking for someone with whom I already had confidence and who could show that tenderness that Gonzalo shows in the short film.

How did you collaborate and communicate with the cinematographer to achieve your desired visual style?
Alberto, the director of photography, and I have been working together for 6 years. He is the other part of No Father Films. He understands me perfectly. I let him read the script and give him a few references and he immediately knows what I want. It is a teamwork.

Can you elaborate on the choice of locations for your project and the significance behind those selections?
Choosing the location was easy. It is my home. It is a place where I have felt safe telling the story. I couldn't imagine telling the story anywhere else.

From your perspective, what unique qualities or aspects of your film make it a compelling choice for potential distributors?
The most important quality of this short film is that it is very emotional and I think we have achieved a very complex story in very few minutes. It is a story that many people will identify with. I think a lot of people have felt alone and have the feelings that are shown in this movie.

Could you discuss the artistic elements or expressions you incorporated into your project, and how they contribute to the overall characterization of your work?
My goal with all my short films has always been to show human feelings in the most natural and powerful way possible.
More than the story, I have always been interested in what it produces in the viewer who is going to watch it.

What initially inspired or motivated you to pursue a career in filmmaking?
What motivated me is that I am an actress and I have always wanted to tell stories. There was a time, 6 years ago, when I didn't have a job as an actress and I started directing stories that I couldn't play and that I thought could move people. And when I talk about moving I mean both laughter and crying.

Are there any particular films or filmmakers that have greatly influenced or inspired your own work? If so, what aspects of their work resonate with you?
Spanish female directors such as Carla Simón, Icíar Bollaín or Elena Martín Gimeno. They are women with a unique sensitivity who show emotional reality in a raw way. That's what I try to do in my work.

What genres do you find most creatively fulfilling to work within, and what draws you to these particular genres?
As an actress I am very interested in thriller and comedy genres. As a director I am very interested in intimate drama, although comedy is very fun to work on.

When you're not immersed in filmmaking, what are some of your other interests or hobbies?
My interests are closely related to the world of cinema. I love going to the movies, the theater, musicals... I like singing, aerial hoop and sports in general. I also love organizing parties and gatherings with friends.

Lastly, could you share any insights or plans you have for future projects?
I have some ideas but, for now, I'm going to enjoy the beautiful journey that Leave Behind is taking through festivals. Although I hope to be able to shoot a short film before the end of the year.