Mexican film director Michel Franco, during an interview with EFE in Mexico City, Mexico on May 12, 2017. EFE/Mario Guzman
 Mexican film director Michel Franco, during an interview with EFE in Mexico City, Mexico on May 12, 2017. EFE/Mario Guzman

Michel Franco: "Let's go ahead and make something Hollywood-style, but in Mexico.'"


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At the premiere of his latest movie at the Cannes Film Festival, a famous Mexican director noted a trend to make gringo-style movies in Mexico, something he rated as a big mistake.

"The best film is the kind where you see things that are very true, and in which not everything is technology and special effects," Michel Franco told EFE at the debut of his film "April's Daughter," adding that despite feeling "comfortable" filming in the United States, he prefers to shoot his movies in Mexico.

The director, who typically makes films that are more dramatic than spectacular, said it was fundamental "not to underestimate the audience and say "Let's go ahead and make something Hollywood-style, but in Mexico.'"

However, Franco said he wasn't criticizing US movies, though he asked that people distinguish between "Hollywood and its creative people."

He hailed the big box-office hauls consistently landed by Mexican actor Eugenio Derbez with commercial productions he makes in his own country "because it all comes together."

"The fact that those films attract vast audiences helps the ones that I premiere at Cannes attract them as well," he said.

With the movie "Chronic," in which UK actor Tim Roth plays a hospice nurse working with patients suffering from terminal illnesses, Franco won the Best Screenplay award at Cannes in 2015. His most recent production tells the story of a pregnant teenager.

The Mexican is currently taking advantage of his new television series, tentatively titled "El que Se Enoja Pierde" (Whoever Gets Mad Loses) in order to get into the field of comedy, a genre he has never explored up to now.

"Comedy series give you a good time and make you laugh and that is so worth it," the scriptwriter said, adding that he sees drama series as "more sophisticate telenovelas."

The moviemaker, considered one of the great artists of his country, structures his works starting with an exploration of the family, since he considers that "the basis for understanding who we are as individuals and as a society."

Michel Franco is a director who experiments in his movies with tyro actors supported by outstanding, internationally famous actors, something seen once more in his latest work. "If you complement the newbies with actors with impressive careers, the combination is very interesting," he said.

For example, he said that in "April's Daughter" the audience will be very interested in the plight of an underage girl who gets pregnant by a boyfriend who is also a minor. "On the other hand, it's the character played by Emma Suarez (the Spanish actress who plays the teenage girl's mother) that any adult can identify with." 

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