10th Annual Cine LatinoIn Focus: Sofia Carrillo

November 6, 2017
By Jan Willms
Subject: Sofia Carrillo, director of Prita Noire, La Casa Triste, & Cerulia

Filmmaker Sofia Carrillo wanted to be a painter and writer when she was a child. “I’m the youngest daughter of a couple of painters, and I grew up in a visual world,” she said. “I wanted to write stories and illustrate them.”

When she was 19 and had to choose a career, she found a program called Audiovisual Arts studies. “For me, it was the perfect combination, story and image,” she said.

Carrillo will have three animated shorts showing at Cine Latino: Prita Noire, about two sisters sharing their lives in a strange place; La Casa Triste, the story of a family told through objects found in flea markets and junk shops; and Cerulia, in which a girl makes a trip to say goodbye to her childhood home, but her memories and her grandparents’ presence won’t let her go.

Carrillo uses stop motion in her animation because she considers that technique enables her to create a fantastic world that can be touched and felt with the fingers. “Frame by frame, you create the movement of characters, and everything is possible,” she said. “I’ve always been in love with fantasy, and stop motion animation was the opportunity to construct my own world.”

In many of her films, Carrillo has served as writer, animator and director, which makes the whole process longer. “But it has something good,” she explained, “if what you do is ‘author stuff,’ ‘art house’ or ‘experimental. It really maintains a mysterious point of view.” She said filling all these roles was a way for her to work without having to explain or justify to someone else her own questions.

“Even in my first works, I did it with a very close group of collaborators in the fields of cinematography, editing, music, sound and assistance of direction. They understood me, and understand me very well; they share with me their talent.” Carrillo does not have a preference when it comes to writing, direction or doing the animation. “I think I love all of the process, although I suffer a little in the writing, and I adore direction.”

“Animation is usually both lovely and horrifying,” Carrillo said. “Sometimes I find myself saying ‘This is my last animation,’ and the next moment I’m thinking ‘Oh, I have a new idea for an animated story!’”