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Vanessa McMahon

Vanessa is a novel writer, screenwriter, rep and a film producer. She shares her discoveries and film surprises. :-)



Interview with Fernando Bolaños on VIAJE (2015)

VIAJE (2015) by Costa Rican director Paz Fábrega follows the story of Luciana and Pedro after they meet at a party. Young and adorable, their chemistry is magnetic; it appears they have always known each other. In the early hours of morning, Pedro remembers he has to travel; on a whim, he invites Luciana to join him. She decides to go, and these two strangers embark upon a stunning journey together that changes them both. Shot in black and white, the film is a lyrical road journey about attraction, the freedom and excitement of spontaneity and life’s ephemeral beauty.

The film premiered at Tribeca Film Festival and later went to Aruba International Film Festival where it screened to a Caribbean audience.


In a recent interview with actor Fernando Bolaños, here is what he had to say about his role as Pedro.

What is Viaje really about in this film? Is it about the journey you both take or the relationship or both?

FERNANDO: I would say Viaje refers to both the journey into the volcano and the relationship, which is also a journey. Both are short, intensely lived and futureless.

Your chemistry with Kattia’s character Luciana is so strong. Did it come naturally or did you both have to work hard on this while acting?

FERNANDO: It occurred very naturally, almost immediately when we started to improvise in rehearsals. I think we both felt very comfortable with each other. We have both worked with our body a lot in the past through dance and yoga, both very much interested in art and we have also had similar experiences in the past. Further, we belong to the same generation with the same way of thinking and we were raised in the same country, Costa Rica. At the same time, it was a process. We connected more and more as the days went by, and we had loving eyes that guided the process.

Did Paz know each of you were who she wanted to work with or was it a tough casting process?

FERNANDO: Kattia had auditioned for Paz's first movie, so Paz was thinking of her for this role almost from the beginning. I had seen the movie and I wrote to Paz telling her how much I loved it and that it would be awesome to work with her some day. So she called me for this beautiful experience. There was no casting, but I imagine she was testing us out as a couple in the first rehearsals to see if we had chemistry. And we did.

Why did Paz decide to film it in black and white?

FERNANDO: The film is black and white because Paz wanted to make this movie about characters. If you see the forest with its amazing green all the time, it takes over with its magnificence.

Do you have any anecdotes or memorable events you want to share that took place while filming?

FERNANDO: For me, the most memorable thing about filming this movie was the way we all got along so well. It was almost like we were all falling in love in the process and in the end it was painful to leave each other. When we met a week later for a party, some of us were even depressed because the beauty of those days was in the past. I think some of that love was transmitted into the movie.

Where is the film shot? Did you travel a lot on the shoot?

FERNANDO: The film was shot mostly in Rincon de la Vieja and some between San Jose and a national park.

There are not a lot of films from Costa Rica. Can you say something about Costa Rican cinema today?

FERNANDO: Costa Rican cinema has a lot of variety. Even though it is at its beginnings, you can see almost every single filmmaker has his or her own style and they are very different one another. This makes for a rich growing mix.

You recently screened the film in Aruba at the film festival. How was that experience?

FERNANDO: I loved going to the film fest in Aruba. I was so much fun. I really enjoyed meeting some amazing filmmakers there. Since our movie screened as the closing film, it was beautiful to see a lot of the people I had met throughout the festival sitting there watching it. I felt like we were showing the movie to a group of friends. It was a great feeling.

How have audiences reacted to the film thus far?

FERNANDO: In Costa Rica not so many people went to see the film. I think the great majority of public in this country prefers pure entertainment, but doesn’t take the chance with something that looks too different or something that will make them have to think too much. Most of the movies that come here to cinemas are mainstream, and I guess people have been taught to see easy chewed up dummy proof films. Also there is no law, as there exists in other countries, that forces cinemas to screen national films; thus, if not many people see the movie in the first weekend, you are basically done. Also, we have a critic in Costa Rica that is brutally ignorant. He has been seeing the mainstream films for so long that he has zero sensitivity; he gave us the last deadly strike. The few people that did see the film have mostly reacted very positively. When we started to show the film outside Costa Rica, it was such a heart warming surprise to see that it was getting amazing reviews all over the place. In fact, one of the first was in Tribeca where we had a great review from a critic in the New York Times, which provoked the critic here in Costa Rica to come out to defend himself out of shame. Outside of Costa Rica, the film has done incrediblly well and has gone much farther then we ever expected. We are very happy about this.

What is next for you both?

FERNANDO: There is one movie that is currently showing in cinemas here that I am in, and there is another that will come out next year called “El Sonido de las Cosas” (the sound of things) in 2016. I think it will be good. Also, maybe I will be working in another movie in February and hopefully a T.V. series sometime next year. I am open to the idea of working outside of Costa Rica. That would be a dream come true.

-Interview by Vanessa McMahon-




VIAJE (2015) by Paz Fabrega

Actors Kattia González and Fernando Bolaños.

View trailer here: 

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