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TIFF Women Directors: Meet Isidora Marras- ‘I Am Not Lorena’

TIFF Women Directors: Meet Isidora Marras- 'I Am Not Lorena'

Isidora Marras was born in Santiago, Chile, and studied audiovisual direction at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. Her short films include “Mirada a Vapor” (2008) and “En la Azotea” (2008). I Am Not Lorena is her first feature film as director.

A wrong number leads to a case of mistaken identity, which leads to something much more sinister and bizarre in I Am Not Lorena. Updating Kafka for the information age, the Chilean Marras spins an eerie web of debt collection, accidental impostors, and other shady goings-on in modern-day Santiago. (TIFF official site)

I Am Not Lorena will play at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 5, 7, and 13.

WAH: Please give us your description of the film playing.

IM: I Am Not Lorena is a thriller that shows us how a simple case
of mistaken identity can affect someone´s life. Olivia is a young
actress who’s having a hard time because of her mother’s Alzheimer’s  and her recent separation of Mauro (the director of the play that she is
rehearsing). Suddenly, she begins to receive several phone calls from
many different companies urging her to pay the debts of an unknown woman
called Lorena Ruiz. This situation creates an obsession in Olivia’s
mind and a dark part emerges from herself.  

WaH: What drew you to this story?

IM: For almost two years, I received several calls asking for a woman called
Lorena Ruiz from different retail stores. The goal: to collect her
debts. They were very pressing and, after being mad for a while, I simply
began to be curious: Who was this woman? I tried to find her through
many different ways, but I couldn´t. The calls never stopped. Then, when I
started writing the movie, the phone calls stopped. I felt the movie was
in some way asking to be made.

WaH: What was the biggest challenge in making the film?

IM: I had a lot of challenges making this film. It was my first time
directing professional actors, and I had never worked with such a big
crew. But I had a really good team and the support of great
 Each challenge was difficult, but in very different ways.

WaH: What do you want people to think about when they are leaving the theatre?

IM: I would be very happy if people just have some emotions after watching
the movie, even if it’s a negative one. If they love it or if they hate
it, I will be glad. Indifference is the only thing that would really make me annoyed.

WaH: What advice do you have for other female directors?

IM: Don’t
ever believe that films made by women are only for women. A film
must reflect the essence of each director, his or her way of looking life. Films must not be made for a
gender, but for an audience that can perceive a personal essence. 

WaH: How did you get your film funded?

IM: In Chile, film production is mainly financed by public funds. I Am Not Lorena is a co-production between four production houses
(Forastero, Donquijote films, Lastarria 90, and Carrousel Films
(Argentina)). We won the National Fund for Audiovisual Production in
2012 and also the Argentinean National Fund for Production. It´s really
hard to [make a film] otherwise in Chile if you are not supported by National

WaH: Name your favorite women directed film and why.

IM: My favorite female director is the Argentinean Lucrecia Martel. She
gives a lot of attention to every detail in her movies. She establishes a
particular visual and sound aesthetics for every movie, which deeply characterizes the world she is describing.

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