Máncora

By Manuela Gabaldon

May/June 09.

This year’s Miami International Film Festival brought films from all over the world to our great city. However, only one had true Miami ties. Produced by Miami-based producers Diego Ojeda and Oscar Teran, Máncora tells the story of a jaded boy’s rude awakening from a life of sex, drugs, and the underground club scene. The film follows the story of Santiago (Jason Day), a young man lost in the aftermath of his father’s suicide. Consumed in an battle between indifference and grief, Santi, along with his enchanting stepsister Ximena (Elsa Pataky) and her arrogant husband Iñigo (Enrique Murciano), leaves the gloomy Lima winter and heads for a beach north of the capital called Máncora.

Ironically, the road to his childhood retreat quickly spins out of control, tainting the memory of a place he used to think safe.

Associate producer Oscar Teran tells me of his experiences while working on the film. He speaks of shooting on location, the cast and crew’s undeniable chemistry that “just worked”, and how life in Miami unintentionally prepared him for such a project. The cast and crew all hail from many different countries, did the diversity of the team present difficulties?

“Coming from Miami, an incredible port for the arts, I enjoy working with different creative nationalities. Filmmaking is one of those art forms that actually bring people together, no matter where you are from. As a filmmaker, you spend nine long weeks living with a group of around 60 people. In our case, Máncora being a Latin American production, we had people from Peru, Spain, Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Brazil, the US, and Venezuela; this combination of cultures, gave the film its amazing international appeal.”

How would you describe the interaction between the crew and cast while on location? “When you have Elsa Pataky’s golden retriever “Neo” running around the set, and Enrique Murciano and crew members going for a “quick” surfing escapade in Chicama, one of Peru’s most famous surf beaches, during production breaks, you know that there is a great chemistry that inevitably translates onto the screen. Lima and Máncora are such incredible places – the food, the weather, and specially the people. The combination of the location and that chemistry definitely had a lot to do with the end result.”

What would you like people to take away from this film?

“The great thing about filmmaking, like most art, is that each person can interpret and gain from this film in different ways. Everyone will have a different reaction to Máncora. For us, Máncora is a story about experiencing and dealing with change. It captures a moment in life when losing someone close can trigger a journey for new meaning. For Santi, Máncora was a retreat, it was familiar, it was home.”

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