questions for director Cristina Molino

click here to see Cristina's reel

Cristina Molino is one of the most exciting directors to emerge in the last few years. A young woman, of tenacious creative talent, with a unique and compelling vision and point of view. Cristina is one of those directors that when you hear her speak, witness her at work, and then view the results, you know you are witnessing a coming giant.  

1 - What made you want to become a director?

Since I was little I’ve always liked to tell stories, specially through images. I used to write and draw a lot, and then at the age of 15 I discovered photography and fell in love with it. Some time later I realized that cinema was what I consider to be the most powerful way of expression. I could tell stories through images, moving images in this case, but not only that, I realized that this way of expression is the synthesis of all the arts: literature, photography, music, painting and so on. I knew then that this was what I wanted to do.

I also realized that as a director you have to plan and keep in mind all the elements: actors, light, optics, sound, movement, music, set design, wardrobe, etc… all to express a particular point of view, and as such, depending on those choices, you will tell a story in one way or a very different way, extending in an infinite manner the different ways you can tell the same story.

2 - Who are your biggest influences as far as directors?

It’s hard for me to choose only a few of my influences because I like several very different directors, and because I like something specific about each of them. I admire the work of directors such Stephen Daldry, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Jane Campion, Wong Kar Wai, Sam Mendes, Christopher Nolan,     Ang Lee, Kathryn Bigelow, David Fincher, Denis Villeneuve...

3 - 5 films that instantly come to your mind?

Again it’s difficult to choose 5!!  Let’s say: "The hours", "Brokeback Mountain", “Interstellar", "Revolutionary Road", "We need to talk about Kevin”...

4 - What is the biggest challenge for a director on set?

The set can be a lonely place for a director, you might have a great producer, cinematographer, production designer, writers or creative around you, but ultimately as director, you are looked and judged upon to make the final and best decisions. And so you have to work on preparing every aspect of the project before shooting and have a clear vision of what you want to tell and how you want to tell it. At the same time you need to be prepared to quickly solve any kind of problem or unexpected event that might come up during the shoot so that it doesn’t harm the original narrative. Being prepared technically and artistically as well as having the internal strength to be able to make the right decisions I think are the most challenging things.

5 - What are the challenges, if any, of being a female director in a male dominated industry?

As a filmmaker, I absolutely didn't enter this business with a gender related agenda, or for that matter, any preconceived ideas other than wanting to be a filmmaker, to tell powerful stories that are populated by great characters and that are filmed in the most beautiful way.

The biggest challenge is, as in almost any other aspect in our society, to be even considered for the job. Still to this day many times being a woman is seen as a disadvantage. We are still just a few female directors out there, compared to the number of male directors, and yet we have already proved by far that we are equally talented. Our work is the best way to prove our worth.

Given that women are over 50% of the population, within a same culture, why would said culture not want to hear, see and understand our perspective? On a purely practical matter, I see the addition of female directors as expanding the vision and paths that stories can take us to, it expands the narrative paths stories can take given the world-view that one, as a woman, can have.