Mars, 2024




Nahyr, tell us a bit more about yourself. Where does your desire to be a director come from?

I think the desire to direct has always been somewhere within me before I knew what directing was. When I was a little girl I loved reenacting scenes from telenovelas that I watched with my mom and grandmother or from Disney movies. But it wasn’t a solo affair. I often enlisted my friends at school or the children at my grandmother’s work to be part of my mini-productions and would direct them.

As I grew older, I would often choreograph dances for the school talent show and then at university and it sort of further exercised that leadership and directing muscle. However, without realizing it, over time I continued to develop a directing style that came from a highly collaborative approach.

What is your background?

I was born in Querétaro, Mexico and brought to the United States when I was about five years old. I grew up in San Diego and have lived in California my entire life. I began dancing when I was ten years old and I majored in Dance with an emphasis in choreography in college. My loves have always been dance, writing, film, and acting respectively and they’ve always found a way to intersect with each other in my academic and professional pursuits. In 2022 I earned my Master of Fine Arts in Screenwriting & Directing.

What were your reference for Platonic Love?

“Platonic Love” is a proof-of-concept short film for a feature romance drama that I wrote. The script for the feature has done well in competitions and programs and I wanted to film a proof of concept that would demonstrate what the feature will look and feel like. The characters from Platonic Love explore similar themes to the feature and are versions of the feature characters but in a different, stand-alone moment in time.

Nahyr, you won Best Romance at the RED Movie Awards, what does that mean to you?

Oh my. I hope I can articulate in mere words what an honor this is. I grew up heavily influenced by Jane Austen’s works and by films such as “Atonement” and “A Very Long Engagement;” that type of bittersweet romance drama calls to me and these complex romance dramas are what I aim to write. Therefore, to win Best Romance at a prestigious film festival such as RED Movie Awards is an honor that I deeply cherish.

There are many romance films, how did you find your originality?

I was inspired by my own experience as a young woman falling in love for the first time. I was interested in exploring the self-imposed inhibitions, the character flaws that keep us from expressing how we feel. The question of what makes us terrified to tell one person that we love them but safe to tell another. What happens when the right person comes along at the wrong time, and does that mean they were the right person after all? Would we make the same choice given a second chance? These are all questions that I used to inspire the development of my characters and the story I threw them into.

How has your dual culture enriched your cinema?

You’re hitting me with the loaded questions! Ha ha. I think really it’s a matter of the perspectives and the voices I was exposed to. I grew up consuming many great movies from the golden age of Mexican cinema with actors like Pedro Infante, Cantinflas, Maria Félix, Dolores del Rio, and Jorge Negrete and enjoying the golden age of Mexican Telenovelas with my family. Simultaneously, I was growing up in San Diego, California and a typical 90’s kid who watched Animaniacs, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Beauty & The Beast and the like. I lived i two cultures and my writing often reflects this perspective. The feature version of Platonic Love really highlights that duality. I don’t make my characters’ Latinidad a label that hits you over the head in a stereotypical way; I just write characters who happen to speak Spanish and who’s heritage is woven into the fabric of their everyday life.

Tell us about the production methods of your film, is it self-produced or produced? What were the constraints?

This was a self-produced film in that I funded it. I know that’s a big no-no but I just believed, and continue to believe in the larger project, that much and didn’t want to wait for someone else’s “yes.” I brought on a co-producer because I wore so many hats for this production that I knew I needed a co-producer to help me so that I could focus. Some of the constraints were really regarding how long we had to shoot and when we needed to wrap filming by. We only had four days to shoot and we couldn’t move our dates due to crew availability. Originally the goal was to wrap post by summer of 2022 but when my stepfather passed away, I took some time and we pushed post to finish by end of 2022.

Do you have an anecdote to share with us in particular?

They say to make sure your prep is meticulous and thorough because even with overly preparing; something will go wrong. On our first day of filming, we showed up to location, the apartment location, only to find that the furniture (really heavy pieces), had been moved to completely different rooms. All of my shots and storyboarding were rendered obsolete as the rooms we were using were completely different. I knew it would take too long to move the heavy furniture so I quickly met with my DP and 1st A.D. and began to troubleshoot how to pivot my shots and camera angles. It was definitely a challenge we weren’t expecting but, thanks to our over-preparing, we all understood the vision cohesively and were able to collaborate quickly to pivot our plan.

What is your next project?

I have a couple of scripts in development at the moment and I’m currently producing another short film, but my main focus right now is to get our feature version of this financed and ready to film.