Arroz imperial, a film about the fear of oblivion, premieres in Miami

Arroz imperial, a film about the fear of oblivion, premieres in Miami
Arroz imperial, a film about the fear of oblivion, premieres in Miami

The project has already borne notable fruit, with plays such as Pepito and Florentino, Hansel and Graciela and Welcome grandmother, all brought to the stage. The first piece of the program, Clara y Amado, also conceived for theater, finally had to be adapted to be broadcast on Zoom, due to Covid-19.

The new proposal from Troop of Actors is the documentary Arroz imperial, script and direction by Nitsy Grau, with the performance of the first actor Marcos Miranda. The 16-minute film will have its world premiere at the American Museum of the Cuban Diaspora, on Friday, May 31.

The screenwriter in conversation with Diario Las Américas points out that it is “a short film about the fear of loneliness and Alzheimer’s, which so many older people suffer from: a film about the fear of oblivion and being forgotten,” she highlights.

The idea arises from the work carried out by Leopoldo Morales, actor, director and in the case of imperial rice, producer of the film, in a center for senior citizens. “Leo would come home and tell me the things he heard from the elderly. They had

things to tell From there comes the idea of ​​creating a project focused on them, to visualize their problems, concerns and emotions.”

“Leo has worked very hard on this project, he is the person who brings the story, which is why he is very important in the content and production,” alleges the director.

After the plays, Nitsy set out to create another piece, but not for the stage, but for cinema. This is how the idea of ​​Arroz imperial arose, using the elements and techniques of cinema. “Arroz imperial was never intended for theater, nor as an audiovisual, the purpose was always the short film, because we wanted to have two shots as leitmotiv: the camera through which the relatives are arriving at the protagonist’s house, and the other the time of cooking imperial rice.”

In the film, Marcos Martínez’s character is losing his memory. On his 80th birthday, he sees his family arrive through a security camera, while he is preparing a recipe for imperial rice.

The protagonist of this film, Marcos Miranda, remembers with pleasure when Nitsy told him about the project and gave him the script. “When I read it I realize the importance and magnitude of the project, something that touches us very closely, since we had a relative of my wife Normita who suffered from the disease.” He immediately called her and said excitedly: “Nirsy, I have to do this role; count on me”.

Miranda says he feels satisfied for “making a film about a topic that affects many families,” and also grateful. “Any actor my age being offered a leading role is a privilege and a great opportunity for my career.”

Marcos Miranda, 85, provided his residence for the film to be made. “This allowed me to help reduce costs, and without intending to, it was very useful for me to incorporate the character, since I was in my own environment.”

The synopsis adds that “Marcos is alone in the infinite space of the kitchen. He knows that it is best to hold on to the past. Marcos’ gaze through the security camera reveals his deep longing and confronts him with a painful reality that he refuses to accept.

The purpose of the film, says director Grau, is to “raise awareness about the problems of the silent generation.” She then adds that since the project was conceived she thought

in the actor Marcos Miranda for the character, by Marcos Martínez. “Marcos was the character from the beginning. The film was thought and conceived for Marcos Miranda. “I was thinking about him when I was writing the script. “There was never any other alternative, in my mind.”

Marcos Miranda has had an extensive career as a producer, director, writer for radio, television and theater, both in Cuba, Spain and the United States, where he is still active. “Marcos is a tremendous actor. For Arroz imperial we did very detailed preliminary work, studying every nuance. When filming arrived, we had already agreed on everything,” says Nitsy Grau, adding: “Even so, the whole process was complicated, since the short had to be made with many shots, which meant that it was shot like a puzzle, something that is complex for any actor. It was two long days of filming, but the result is wonderful,” he says, and then states: “Marcos Miranda’s work is very good, very heartfelt, very emotional, very real.”

Nitsy Grau’s years of training in her native Cuba, then in Ecuador, where she worked in television covering various lines, have been very useful. Her work as a director on the film Medardo made her the winner of an ACE award for best debut film in 2015. Additionally, her performance in Miami as part of the production team for the film Plantados by Lilo Vilaplana, “forced me to rethink my things from the point of view of filming in Miami,” he points out.

Marcos Miranda remembers the pace and intensity of work he faced during filming. “It was 14 hours of work, standing, in a very small space, with a lot of scenic movement. It was truly a great challenge for me,” recalls the actor, who immediately mentions that the production team was unbeatable. “They were worried about me throughout the day of recording, because of the long day that lasted 14 hours in a row, and I was also alone on scene, something that demands much more from the actor, since in addition, the script required to be very organic.” The actor concludes by saying: “Nitsy is one of the best directors I have worked with.”

With our project, and in general with the work of Troops of Actors, “we want to avoid isolation and marginalization. We want to contribute to increasing the intellectual and cultural profile of the Hispanic community in Miami. We have a special focus on adults

“older people, who are probably the most vulnerable sector of the population,” is highlighted on the institution’s website.

Arroz imperial will be exhibited on Friday, May 31, at 7 pm, at the American Museum of the Cuban Diaspora, 1200 Coral Way, Miami, 33145. Free admission.

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