The Berkshire International Film Festival is celebrating its 16th birthday this year, and to do that, we’d like to honor some of our new filmmakers. For our Filmmaker Four article series, we sent some of our BIFF first-timers the same set of four questions—the answers, of course, are delightfully different.
Hugo Perez recently completed co-directing and co-producing the feature documentary ONCE UPON A TIME IN UGANDA with Cathryne Czubek which had been slated to World Premiere in the Documentary Competition at SXSW 2020.
He is the Producer, Director, and Co-Editor of NEITHER MEMORY NOR MAGIC a feature documentary that explores the life, work, and legacy of the Hungarian poet Miklos Radnoti who died in 1944 during the Holocaust. The film is narrated by the Academy-Award Nominated® Patricia Clarkson and celebrated actor Viggo Mortensen. NEITHER MEMORY NOR MAGIC is the recipient of a 2010 NEH Chairman’s Grant.
Perez served as Editor and Co-Writer for Elliot Page and Ian Daniel’s feature documentary directorial debut THERE’S SOMETHING IN THE WATER which world premiered at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival and was released on Netflix in 2020.
His recent work in Cuba includes producing the national PBS special WEEKEND IN HAVANA – the first full length PBS show produced for national PBS. Perez was the recipient of the prestigious Rockefeller Foundation/Tribeca Film Institute Emerging Artist Fellowship in support of his feature screenplay IMMACULATE CONCEPTION. Perez’ short film BETTY LA FLACA was the winner of the HBO/NYILFF Short Film Award and was broadcast across the HBO networks. His previous short film JULIETA Y RAMON was broadcast as part of the Showtime Latino Filmmaker Showcase, which spotlights the work of emerging Latino directors. Perez’ short film SEED was part of ITVS/PBS groundbreaking original online science fiction series FutureStates.
His film, Omara, is part of BIFF 2022.
What was your first experience on a film set?
While I was an undergrad, I interned on a short film starring Emily Lloyd being shot in a farmhouse in Connecticut. One scene, intended to have a ‘magical realist’ quality called for a lobster to fly off of a plate and out of the house. I was the production assistant tasked with manning the fishing pole and “flying” the lobster out of the house.
What was the first film you directed/wrote?
The first film I wrote and directed was a short film comedy entitled Julieta y Ramon, a tale of romance between a Latina with a fetish for Ronald Reagan and a shoe salesman with a foot fetish, and how they make it work.
Who is your favorite filmmaker?
What are you working on that no one knows about?
I can’t really tell you much more than it involves bringing dinosaurs back to life, but not the way you think.