Here and There - Exclusive Interview @ NYFF

Every year, the cold September rain arrives in tandem with the New York Film Festival, where movie-mad manhattanites take cover from the downpour and experience a robust slate of new and noteworthy films. The 50th edition of this soggy event is well underway in Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center, after a full weekend of screenings and director panels.

Last Saturday we had a chance to attend the North American premiere of one the most acclaimed indie films of the year, "Aqui y Alla," (Spanish for Here and There), a tender but tough story about Pedro, a Mexican who experiences the new phenomenon of "reverse immigration;" he is forced to return to his home state of Guerrero due to the state of the economy in the U.S. and attempts to start a musical band after years of working illegally in New York. The film won the Grand Prize of the "Semaine de la Critique" at the Cannes film festival this May. As you can see in the trailer, this gentle little film blurs the line between documentary and fiction; it follows the quotidian life of Pedro, as he gets reacquainted with his wife and two daughters and tries to cope with providing for his family. First-time director Antonio Mendez Esparza mostly cast non-actors for his film, and most roles are stoically portrayed by actual residents of the Pedro's home town.

FilmFAC had a chance to catch up with Torch Films producers Ori Gratch and Tim Hobbs, who discussed with us the genesis of the film, some production details and their surprise when they found out their film won the Grand Prize at Cannes. The debate between film and digital takes center stage with the colorful opening feature at the NYFF, "Life of Pi," which was shot in 3D by director Ang Lee. As mentioned by Gratch, they used the Red One digital camera for "Aqui y Alla," which allowed them the freedom to shoot a large amount of material without breaking the bank. Take a look at the full interview below:

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