it? Tell me about that.

Julio
ENCRUCIJADA IS A STORY ABOUT FAITH AND GIVEN THE
SPIRITUAL TURMOIL THAT THE CHARACTER FINDS HIMSELF IN, IT
ALLOWS FOR THE DIALOGUE TO BE TRUE AND SINCERE TO THE
VIEWER.  ALTOGETHER IT DELIVERS A POSITIVE AND POWERFUL
MESSAGE IN THE END.  MY MOVIES ARE ALL ABOUT THE SCRIPT,
CREATING AN INTRIGUING STORYLINE WITH BELIEVABLE
CHARACTERS AND FILLING IT WITH MOMENTS THAT WILL REMAIN WITH
THE VIEWER FOR A LONG TIME.   

Armando| Now “Encrucijada” was filmed on location in Guatemala City
and you chose El Cemeterio General for one of the scenes.  Where were
you taking the viewer when choosing these locations?
Julio|
EL CEMENTERIO GENERAL IS A LANDMARK OF GUATEMALA
SINCE IT HAS BEEN THE RESTING PLACE OF A LARGE NUMBER OF
PEOPLE, REGARDLESS OF RACE, CULTURAL BACKGROUND OR
STATUS.  I WANTED A LOCATION THAT EVERYONE IN GUATEMALA
COULD IDENTIFY WITH SINCE I AIMED THE FILM AT THE POPULATION
AT LARGE.  

Armando| If you could describe your direction style, how would you
describe it?
Julio|
I LOVE TO MAKE THE VIEWER FEEL LIKE THEY ARE A PART OF
THE FILM.  IT IS A STYLE THAT BECOMES MORE ENGAGING SPECIALLY
WHEN THE LOCATIONS AND CHARACTERS ARE MINIMAL.  USING A
HANDHELD METHOD OF SHOOTING AND A LESS THAN PERFECT
FRAMING, THE VIEWER IS TAKEN INTO A REALISTIC JOURNEY
ALONGSIDE THE CHARACTERS IN THE MOVIE.  

Armando| What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?
Julio| NUTELLA.  

Armando| How long have you been involved with Cine Latino Americano
Trieste, and how did you get started with them?
www.ambiente.us    FEBRUARY | FEBRERO 2010

Interview with director Julio Ponce Palmeiri
by Armando Diaz, Jr.

Centro-América ha sido el lugar de nacimiento de algunos de los artistas,
los poetas y civilizaciones más grandes del mundo.  Este hecho es a
menudo olvidado, en medio de la nube de la agitación política y
violaciónes de derechos humanos, que parece que afligen a la región.  Sin
embargo, para todo yin hay un yan.  Mis raíces siendo de Honduras, tuve
el placer de entrevistar a un vecino cultural.

Based in Toronto, the Guatemalan director Julio Ponce Palmeiri has an incredible
resume of films already under his belt.  Simply labeling this man a director would not
be just, as his credits also include writer, producer, composer, editor, and even actor.  

Among the young director’s achievements and awards, was his win at the 2007
Queens Film Festival, where he walked away with the awards for “Filmmaker on the
Rise” as well as the Queen Spirit Award for “Best Feature Screenplay”  for an upcoming
2011 film, “The Hunchback”, which
he shared with Max Ryan.  Julio already has
an impressive  (13) films under his belt, (9) of
which he directed, (10) of which he
produced and (12) which he wrote.  Among
these are my favorites which happen to be
.
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(2) of his latest productions, “Encrucijada” and “Rabid Rage”.  I caught up
with Mr. Palmeiri who was happy to answer a few questions for a readers
and the world at large to get to know him and his works.  


Armando| Julio so how are you feeling right now?
Julio|
VERY EXCITED TO HAVE BEEN GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY TO
CHAT WITH YOU AND AMBIENTE MAGAZINE!  

Armando| I think I mentioned we’re somewhat neighbors, your roots
being from Guatemala and mine in Honduras!  It’s great to see a Central
American
por aqui!
Julio| DEFINITELY APPRECIATE THE SUPPORT AND IT IS GREAT TO
SHARE MY THOUGHTS AND EXPERIENCES WITH A FELLOW CENTRAL
AMERICAN.  

Armando| How long have you lived in Toronto?
Julio|
I MOVED TO TORONTO FROM GUATEMALA IN 1990 AND HAVE
BEEN LIVING HERE SINCE.  (Armando) Do you love it? (Julio) TORONTO
IS A WONDERFUL MULTI-CULTURAL CITY THAT ALLOWS YOU TO
MAINTAIN YOUR ROOTS EVEN THOUGH YOU SHARE AN EVERYDAY LIFE
ALONGSIDE AN ENGLISH COMMUNITY.  A CHINESE PERSON CAN
CONTINUE THEIR CHINESE TRADITIONS, AN ITALIAN CAN CONTINUE
BEING AN ITALIAN AND SO ON.  IT IS GREAT TO HAVE BEEN ABLE TO
HOLD ON TO MY CULTURAL IDENTITY.  

Armando| So I was very taken with the underlying element of darkness
and faith in the film “Encrucijada”.  How do you manage to accommodate
such incredible intensity into a mere, 15 minutes was
Julio| I AM NOT DIRECTLY INVOLVED WITH THEM ALTHOUGH I AM
EXTREMELY GRATEFUL FOR THE SHOWCASE THAT I RECEIVED WITH
THEM THIS PAST NOVEMBER.  BEING THE FIRST GUATEMALAN TO BE
SHOWCASED AT THE FESTIVAL IN ITS 24 YEARS WAS A GREAT HONOR,
SPECIALLY SINCE I PRESENTED EIGHT OF MY PRODUCTIONS WITH
THEM.  I SIMPLY SUBMITTED SOME OF MY FILMS WITH THE FESTIVAL
AND THE DIRECTOR LOVED THEM SO MUCH THAT HE DECIDED TO
INCLUDE ALL OF THEM IN A SPECIAL SECTION TITLED "A GUATEMALAN
IN CANADA".  IT WAS A WONDERFUL EXPERIENCE.  

Armando| The film “Rabid Rage” has a bit more action to it, was this
more challenging?
Julio|
"RABID RAGE" WAS MORE OF A COMMERCIAL MOVIE THAT WAS
GEARED MORE TO ENTERTAIN THE GENERAL PUBLIC.  AND IT DID SO
GREATLY IN GUATEMALA WHERE IT RECEIVED A THEATRICAL
RELEASE.  THE PROJECT WAS A LOT OF FUN TO DO SINCE MOST OF
THE PEOPLE INVOLVED WERE GOOD FRIENDS AND VERY WILLING TO
MAKE THE FILM A REALITY.  ACTION IN ITSELF IS ALWAYS MORE
CHALLENGING BECAUSE IT REQUIRES A GREATER AMOUNT OF
PREPARATION AND COVERAGE IN ORDER TO SUCCESSFULLY EDIT
THE SCENES.  BUT OVERALL, ANOTHER GREAT HIGHLIGHT OF MY
CAREER.  

Armando| Rumor has it there’s a possible “Rabid Rage” sequel in the
future?
Julio| IF "RABID RAGE" BECOMES AVAILABLE THROUGH THE DVD
MARKET AND IT SELLS WELL THEN A SEQUEL IS A DEFINITE MUST.  
THE ORIGINAL STORY COMPLETELY LEFT IT OPEN FOR ANOTHER
SEQUEL AND IT EVEN LENDS ITSELF TO A PREQUEL IF NEEDED.  

Armando| How do you manage to do all this with no budget?
Julio| MOST PEOPLE DON'T BELIEVE ME WHEN I TELL THEM THAT I
HAVE NO MONEY TO PUT IN MY FILMS.  I ACCOMPLISH THIS BY BEING
THE WRITER, PRODUCER, DIRECTOR AND EDITOR OF THE FILM.  
SOMETIMES I
.
EVEN DO THE CAMERA WORK AND THAT AMOUNTS TO ABOUT 80% OF
THE WORK.  THE REST OF THE PROJECT COMES FROM THE TALENTED
ACTORS THAT BELIEVE IN WHAT I'M DOING AND WANT TO BE A PART OF
A GOOD FILM.  I OFTEN WORK WITH ANOTHER PRODUCER, SPECIALLY
ON FEATURE FILMS AND MOST OF THE TIME IT HAPPENS TO BE A
CLOSE FRIEND OF MINE SO THE "WORK" BECOMES FUN.  

Armando| I can only imagine what you COULD do WITH a Hollywood
budget.  With that in mind what would you like Hollywood to know about
director Julio Ponce Palmieri?
Julio|
THAT I HAVE PROVEN MYSELF AT EVERY LEVEL.  I TOOK A 400
DOLLAR MOVIE THEATRICAL AND SEVEN OF MY SHORT FILMS HAVE
WORLD WIDE DISTRIBUTION.  AND I HAVE DONE ALL OF THIS IN FIVE
SHORT YEARS.  THE TALENT, DISCIPLINE AND DESIRE ARE ALL THERE
ALREADY AND I AM  ONLY GETTING BETTER.  GREAT IDEAS ARE
SWIMMING IN MY HEAD BUT THEY REQUIRE A BUDGET WITH
HOLLYWOOD BACKING.  

Armando| Julio what’s your favorite song you’re listening to these days?
Julio|
OFTEN I FIND MYSELF LISTENING TO LUCIANO PAVAROTTI'S
VERSION OF "CARUSO", A BEAUTIFUL LOVE SONG SUNG BY AN
AMAZING VOICE.  

Armando| Is a soundtrack an integral part of your inspiration and of the
films you direct?
Julio|
I DO LOVE A COUPLE OF SONGS WITH AWESOME LYRICS THAT
ALWAYS INSPIRE ME TO MAKE FILMS. BUT SECURING THE RIGHTS CAN
BE QUITE EXPENSIVE AND AS YOU ALREADY KNOW MY BUDGET IS NON-
EXISTENT AT THE MOMENT.  

Armando| Do you attend the film festivals, the ones in Europe as well as
the ones here?
.
Julio| BEING IN TORONTO I OFTEN ATTEND THE TORONTO
INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL AS WELL AS THE CFC SHORT FILM
FESTIVAL.  I LOVE GOING TO NEW YORK AND HAVE ATTENDED MANY
FESTIVALS THERE AS WELL.  I HAVE ALSO BEEN TO FILM FESTIVALS IN
LOS ANGELES BUT DON'T GET THERE AS MUCH SINCE IT IS ALMOST
THE OTHER SIDE OF THE MAP.  

Armando| Are there any upcoming festivals we should be aware of?
Julio|
MY INTENTION IS TO BEGIN PUSHING MY FEATURE FILM TITLED
"GAME OVER" IN SOME FILM FESTIVALS IN NORTH AMERICA.  I HAVEN'T
DECIDED WHERE TO SUBMIT YET SINCE I AM ALSO IN TALKS FOR A
THEATRICAL RELEASE IN GUATEMALA.  NOTHING HAS BEEN SECURED
YET AS OF TODAY.  

Armando| What can we expect from Julio Ponce Palmieri in the next
couple of years?
Julio|
MY INTENTION IS TO MAKE THREE FEATURE FILMS IN THE NEXT
TWO YEARS.  I HAVE TWO ENGLISH SPEAKING PROJECTS TITLED
"HOST" AND "ANATOMY OF A KIDNAPPING" AND ONE SPANISH PROJECT
THAT I'D LIKE TO FILM IN GUATEMALA TITLED "LEYENDA".   I WOULD
LOVE TO HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE THE MOVIES WITH A
HOLLYWOOD BUDGET BUT I WON'T LET THAT HOLD ME BACK SINCE I
WILL CONTINUE MAKING MOVIES NO MATTER WHAT STANDS IN MY WAY.
.

For more information on the innovative young director and his work visit :
http://www.myspace.com/julioponcepalmieri
and http://www.youtube.com/MrQuetzal

Queens International Films Festival (http://www.queensfilmfestival.com/)
Max Ryan (http:/
/www.imdb.com/name/nm1043075/)
Cine Latino Americano Trieste http://
www.cinelatinotrieste.org/fest2009/













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