I recall news spreading that someone from Rocky Point had won a short-film contest in Cd. Obregon, and it wasn’t until the day I finally met the winner did I recall this – and was introduced to Jimmy Maldonado.
I had been speaking with Nina Mier of the Primera Toma (First Take) Film Club about the upcoming student short-film festival when Jimmy burst in; it was Nina who helped me make the connection as to the news of the short-film winner, Jimmy Maldonado, and the person who stood there in front of us asking how his own short would be exhibited, yes, the winning short-film.
I later contacted him so he could tell me about himself and his winning short-film “Adentro o Afuera” (Inside or Out); between a busy schedule, Facebook notes and a number of text messages later we found a day that worked for us both.
We decided to meet at a centrally located café, where I waited calmly as is characteristic of me; he came in swiftly and had barely stepped foot inside the door when he pulled out his computer in order to take advantage of the time (he was at an “intermediate” point of his work). So, with no time to lose we shot off questions and answers, with surprises from the get go.
He explained this was the first contest to which he had applied, and he won!
Jimmy remarked that since he was young he has always toted along a camera, in as much as it possible. “Since the time I bought my first camera,” he commented, “I carried it with me (and I carry it, though it’s not the same one) everywhere, as a type of good-luck charm.”
He had been taking part in Puerto Peñasco’s First Film Workshop, organized by the Primera Toma film club, when he suddenly had to go to Hermosillo and there is where he saw a call for the short-film contest and decided to enter.
The idea came about in parts. First, he had been going to CEDO to do research about a particular plant and one day they called him to ask if he would like to film the freeing of a turtle that had been trapped within the net of some fishermen. “I filmed it and had this “feeling” that I wanted to use that film for something more than solely capturing the moment,” he reflected.
“Another day I had the strange and urgent need to go to the beach,” Jimmy explained, “I like to go to watch the sea, it calms me and makes me reflect, but I hadn’t done so for some time due to work and limited time. But, at that moment I got up early and went out with my camera. I wanted to take some shots of the sea for no reason whatsoever, yet at that moment some dolphins passed by playing and shortly thereafter came back. It seemed like they wanted to welcome me.”
That was precisely when the “click” took place.
“The turtles have a sad face and the dolphins a happy one, and I decided to play with this; the idea of liberty and enclosure, happiness and sadness,” Maldonado stated while he typed away hurriedly on his computer. “I was saturated with work and with some personal problems, and truthfully I saw myself reflected in the turtle and the entire concept.”
The idea was beginning to take form, though there were some details missing, such as music. In this case he turned to Mario Mariscales, long-time friend and Jimmy’s former roommate.
“I really like his music and we have always wanted to do something together and this was the time and the perfect reason,” he detailed.
Still, they had some problems in setting up times and there was a week where it seemed the work was not progressing; but in reality Jimmy was gathering advice and mentally forming the project.
With the deadline pressing, music for the film was done in a sole take; while Mario watched the video, he played notes and recorded them, giving the short-film more life and feeling.
They finished the film on a Wednesday night. Jimmy sent it out with a friend and was worried as they were getting in just under the registration deadline for the short-films and his soul was not at peace until he got confirmation of its receipt. Yet the anguish did not last long, though it seemed to be an eternity; notice came in confirming his participation in the contest and he then decided to turn to other activities requiring his attention.
It was not until a Monday morning some time later that he jumped for joy. He was working at the paper when he received a message telling him he was the “sole winner”…and his heart nearly stopped from the pure elation. This was the first contest he had applied to, not even having finished the Film Workshop beforehand, and then won. “It’s like getting off on the right foot in this area of film, a tremendous pat on the back for what you are doing,” he exclaimed.
It is worth noting this short-film is independent from those of the Film Workshop. Jimmy and his workshop team also had to do a short-film about the founding pioneers of Puerto Peñasco in order to graduate from the workshop.
His independent film “Adentro o Afuera” (Inside or Out) will be presented as an invited short at the Premiere of the Student Short-Films under the theme of Founders, Pioneers, and the Malecón, Puerto Peñasco, 2012.
Numbered seats for the Premiere to be held Sunday, June 10th at 7 p.m. at the Municipal Civic Auditorium are ALREADY SOLD OUT; however, for those who wish to attend, there will be a special function for the general public on Tuesday, June 12th at the Municipal Civic Auditorium. Tickets ($35 pesos) may be bought at either of the Coffee Point establishments as well as at D’Guille Salón with Guille Salazar. So, be sure to get your tickets today and don’t put this off for mañana.