3 ON 1: The Inside, Upside and Best Side of BECLOUD

This month, as we celebrate our newest addition to the Global Lens DVD family—Becloud (available June 28th)—we’re also taking the opportunity to introduce a new feature to our blog: the 3 on 1 column.

After years of separation, three boyhood friends reunite in Mexico City to overcome a tragedy that scarred their neighborhood, and childhood, years before.

3 on 1—what is it? Well, it’s three people (insiders, outsiders, fans and friends of GFI) speaking about one subject. Films, grantees, events and travel… The list of what we can discuss is endless. And this month, it all begins with Becloud (and three folks who you may already know):

Jeremy Quist (Global Lens Series Manager)Becloud first came to us as a grant-submission, back when we only knew the film as Vaho (its original Spanish-language title). So the forthcoming DVD release of this title is quite significant for us, having seen it first as an unassuming rough cut before the final sound mix was complete, then touring the finished film to great acclaim in Global Lens 2010, and now finally making it available to everyone on home video.

The outstanding technical quality of the DVD comes courtesy of our wonderful authoring facility, AM-DVD, and the packaging features gorgeous artwork from designer Gary Ponzo (who also created this awesome chandelier made completely out of paperclips).

What’s particularly exciting for us is that the DVD includes a special “Making of Becloud” featurette, giving audiences rare access to exclusive behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with the cast and crew. It’s very fun, enlightening, and will most certainly deepen your appreciation of Alejandro Gerber Bicecci’s surprising, epic story.

Hilary Lawson (Marketing and Publicity Manager): I definitely agree with Jeremy—the “making of” featurette really is the next best thing to actually sitting down with the director, which we were lucky enough to do when Alejandro came to San Francisco last May!

Alejandro was here to present Becloud on the opening night of the Hola Mexico Film Festival, a showcase of Mexican cinema that travels throughout the U.S., Australia and New Zealand. I had only been working for GFI a few months, and personally, it was extremely exciting to be able to see the face behind a Global Lens film. We took Alejandro to an appropriately touristy watering hole and over a large plate of fries, Alejandro told us about life since Becloud’s premiere—most amusingly, his misadventures while travelling to promote Becloud.

Behind the scenes on the set of BECLOUD

I’ve met many Global Lens directors since then, but as the first person who essentially brought Global Lens “to life” for me, Alejandro holds a special place in my heart. With the release of Becloud on DVD, I’m reminded of that awesome night and how refreshing it is to get a glimpse of the face (and life) behind the story. Hopefully watching the film and the “Making of Becloud” will have the same effect on audiences!

Santhosh Daniel (Director of Programs) Hilary and Jeremy pretty much hit the nail on the head regarding the personal side of Becloud.  It’s been an interesting odyssey…

As Jeremy mentions, we first saw Vaho as a very rough-cut during our Winter 2009 grants cycle.  And for as much as we liked it, we really hesitated taking it for Global Lens 2010, as there was no telling when it might be finished.

It was a risk. Or, a gesture of faith (years later, after a successful run with the film, I don’t recall which side of the coin I was on).  In either case, there was something enchanting about the project and so we put hesitation aside, and spoke with Alejandro and his producer, Abril Schmucler, about including it in Global Lens…

Alejandro hanging out with the locals in Puerto Rico for the opening night of Global Lens 2010!

For us, it was the first-ever Mexican film to appear in the series and for Alejandro, his first-ever feature film. I think we all were generally a bit skittish, for various reasons, and in hindsight, I really don’t know why—I only remember thinking that it would be good to meet Alejandro in person, before release.

And oddly enough, that’s what occurred.  Alejandro surprised us by appearing at the film’s North American premiere at MoMA, and then he and I met again a month later in Puerto Rico.  And, as Hilary mentions, we then had a reunion in San Francisco, a month after Puerto Rico…

Call it coincidence, cosmic convergence, whatever.  But it was a unique opportunity that, in the end, led to us all to becoming good friends.  And for me, after living in Mexico City (and even attending the Holy Week reenactment of the Passion of the Christ in Iztapalapa, which features prominently in Becloud), I can truly say I never learned as much about Mexico as I did from Alejandro.

So, ‘cross-cultural understanding through cinema’—the DVD may not give you all that we got out of this film, but if you take a look at it, it will give you something to remember.

BECLOUD is available on DVD June 28th via our online catalogue.  It was originally presented in theaters as part of Global Lens 2010 along with nine other films from around the world—click here to read more about this and other new releases!

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