Imagine trying to bring someone from a small Indigenous Peruvian village to the noisy New York city. Why? Because you believe in the importance of cultural exchange and the voices of small communities, and Pablo's - is such a voice in your film. But, you need visas, translators and much much more. So after 2 months of hassle, here is what it came down to. Sunday - I drive from the shoot of my new film from Montreal to Toronto through a snowstorm. A world apart, Pablo flies from the hot and humid village of Santo Tomas to Lima. Monday - he goes to the US embassy. Tuesday - I fly to New York, anxiously waiting for his results. I did my best in coaching him, because as a Russian I know how tough it could get. Wednesday - I go to my first ever photography portfolio review organized by Blink and get praise by Time Magazine and others. Pablo sends me a text that he got his entry visa. In a dream-like state, I buy him a ticket with my shaking hands. This wouldn't been possible without the Canada Arts Council's Travel grant. Thursday - he travels for the first time in his life outside of his country, to New York city.
His first words? "Wow, there are gringos everywhere!"
Saturday - our world premiere at Tribeca Film Festival! On a one a year anniversary of my trip to his village.
His strongest impressions - the hight of the buildings, the sadness of the trees on the streets of New York and a loud under-earth dragon that eats humans and disappears in the dark.
Among other highlights, we agreed that Pablo Taricuarima Pinedo will taste new food every day - for better and for worse. He loved the idea of recycling and the work of the local artisans. The escalators he found challenging, but enjoyed visiting the UN building and Central Park, where trees were much happier. Pablo made a myriad of new friends and gifted Kukama-made bracelets to his favourite ones. We gave an on-air live interviewto the biggest US Spanish-speaking TV-channel Telemundo with another filmmaker Natalia Garcia Agraz, and our screenings were 2 out of 4 sold out. Did I mention that my Spanish isn't that great? Yes somehow we understood each other. I also got to meet the one and only Bobby De Niro and inherited a family of Tribeca filmmakers from around the world. Until today we watch with amazement how our films still travel across the globe and sometimes play at the same festivals.