What inspired you to make To Be With You?
I wrote and directed To Be With You because I hadn’t seen, at the time, a love story that involved queer Latinx characters and actors, especially with a trans lead. I thought, if I was feeling that way then I’m sure there are others out there feeling the same way. So I decided to do something about it. The only way to have our stories told, genuinely, is for us to create and make them ourselves.
What was the greatest challenge or fear while making this film?
We made this film on a shoestring budget. We didn’t get the funding we wanted, so we put our own money into. And our crew was just myself, my DP, and our assistant camera guy. Despite the obstacles, we knew that we had a great story that needed to be told. So we trekked on and made it work with what we had. And in the end, it became a beautiful little gem.
What are one or two of your favorite films? What makes those films great?
Two of my favorite films are Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing and Wong Kar-wai’s In the Mood for Love. To me, what makes these films great are the stories, the directing, and the cinematography.
What is your ideal future for trans and non-binary representation in media?
An ideal future of trans and non-binary representation would be seeing our stories normalized. We’re more than just coming out stories. We live normal lives like every other cis person. We’re proud of who we are. I want to see proper representation both in front of and behind the camera. We should be creating, making, and telling our own stories.
What’s next for you as a filmmaker or as an artist?
I’m creating a queer comedic web series to be filmed in Puerto Rico next year. I haven’t seen any queer tv/web series, yet, based in Puerto Rico that tell stories of the LGBTQ+ community there. I want to change that. As a queer/trans Puerto Rican from the diaspora, I want to tell our stories not only in the diaspora but, also, on the island.
To Be With You
Directed by Elliott Feliciano
Saturday, November 9, 2019 at 9pm
Alex is in Los Angeles for 24 hours to reclaim their father’s ashes. Along the way, Alex finds an old love, a beauty in the city, and a final connection to the past.
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