Puerto Rican short film will be presented at the Cannes Film Festival

On May 17, the prestigious Cannes Film Festivalwhich this year celebrates its 75th anniversary of founding and for the first time, a short film shot and created in Puerto Rico can be seen as part of the festival in the American Pavilion.

The movie “2HÖOM [zu: m]”produced, written and acted by the filmmaker doctor Ariel Orama Lopezknown by his pseudonym AG Orloz, was nominated in 2021 among the best short films within the theme of the LGBTTQ + community, but due to the pandemic they could not be presented at Cannes. However, this year all those short films will be given the opportunity to present themselves to the public, which includes producers, directors, agents and all kinds of people who work in the film industry.

“’2HÖOM [zu: m]’ (pronounced like the Zoom communication platform) emerged in the midst of the pandemic and lockdown. One of the big concerns I had was how to create a concept for a short film, when we were still in full lockdown and there was no access to cameras”mentioned Orama López, who directed his first short film “Esteban” in 2009. “I had the idea of ​​working on it from cell phones and that’s how Jonathan Cardenales and I began to record ourselves, each from their homes. I took advantage of the moment to make a combination of a short film that talked about COVID-19, but also about the stigma of HIV/AIDS and how, although it remains among us, it has not had the same impact, nor is everyone aware of the implications, in addition to the stigma that still exists around the disease.

As he did in multiple film and short film festivals around the world, Orama López submitted ‘2HÖOM [zu: m]’ with few expectations because of the high level of competitiveness. “Thank God we had the blessing that it was selected and for me it was a great surprise, because Cannes was always one of my great ambitions and that my works were screened there”detailed the Puerto Rican.

This recognition was also added to the fact that ‘2HÖOM [zu: m]’, like the short film “One”, achieved eligibility for the Oscar Awardssomething that fills the actor with pride. “Although we were not selected among the last nominees, Puerto Rico was there. I had a good relationship with the team from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, who were always very kind throughout the process of receiving the material and I intend to continue creating works to see if one day I achieve the goal of being among the last nominees for a Oscar award”.

Orama López is currently working on the post-production of two projects, the short film “Pterocarpus”, which was recorded in a forest in Humacao, which was totally destroyed by the passage of Hurricane Maria, but which has already recovered its beauty and is about an ancient legend based on that place. In addition, he works in the project “Isla”but that will change to the name of “Y”, in which renowned Puerto Rican figures such as Gilda Haddock, Maribel Quiñones, Jonathan Cardenales and Sara Pastor, among others. Both projects could be ready in late 2022 or early 2023.

“I really direct because I love acting. In almost all my projects, I play the main roles”argued the university professor in the Faculty of Education of the Río Piedras Campus of the University of Puerto Rico. “From the beginning, my first ambition was for ‘Esteban’ to enter a Puerto Rican film festival. Then I discovered that there were other festivals in the world and from there, thank God to this day that I have achieved more than 100 laurels and more than 50 international awards, which for me is still surreal”.

Other awards

Similarly, Orama Lopez was recently awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the Doctoral Senate for Peace, which he received in early May at a ceremony in Mexico City. “In the midst of these projects that I was carrying out in the cinema, one of the directors of this Doctoral Senate for Peace approached me so that I could send him information to nominate me. I didn’t know it was for an honorary degree.”explained the Puerto Rican. “That’s why when I received it it was a pleasant surprise. I couldn’t believe it, it was a tremendous blessing. I had the opportunity to be in Mexico last week and a gold-plated medal was awarded at a ceremony that took place at Campo Marte, a very privileged place where great figures in politics and the arts have been awarded. in Mexico”.

Dr. Ariel Orama López received an Honorary Doctorate from the Doctoral Senate for Peace in Mexico. (Supplied)

As part of the award ceremony, a summit was held where different academic exponents were presented, in addition to which young people from different branches of science and public workers expressed themselves in an excellent way about the initiative of the Doctoral Senate for Peace, about what is happening in the world right now, from climate change to other social issues. “It was a banquet at an academic and intellectual level, from which I took great friends and I hope to continue contributing with them”added the educator.

On the other hand, last year the work of Orama for the Prince William Earthshot Award nomination via Vice President of the University of Puerto Rico. “This year, through an organization in the United Kingdom, I was nominated again. In case of winning the award, basically what they do is that they grant me a substantial amount of funds so that I can do projects”, said the clinical psychologist. “The proposal that I am submitting is to create environmental projects through cinema and multimedia. Crossing our fingers, hoping to God that it happens, because it would be a substantial financial contribution and great prestige”.

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