Osvaldo's Director Statement

What's up everyone, I thought it would be cool to give a little insight into why I chose to write this particular story. Instead of just blabbing along I'm attaching my director's statement about the film. Its just a glimpse into how I came up with the idea and arrived at some of my decisions. We're less than a week away...

Osvaldo’s was conceived completely by accident. I was having my interview for the NYU Tisch School of the Arts graduate film program when one of the faculty members mentioned that there was a piece of glitter on my face. Initially, I thought the glitter was distracting and he was asking for me to remove it. Instead, he wanted to know more about the glitter. I told him that prior to the interview I got a haircut from my local barbershop. The name of the shop was Osvaldo’s. Another faculty member asked me to describe my barber and describe a sequence of three events that occurred after the shop closed. This is where the story for the film was born.

Photo by Peter G. Svarzbein

Originally the film was about Juan Dominguez’s struggle to cope with his newfound responsibility of being a single dad. My parents have been divorced for over 15 years and I have been in the loving care of my mother ever since. This always made me curious how things would be if my dad took care of my sister and I. The more I thought about it the more I was captivated by the idea of the father being incapable of assuming the figurehead position of the family and one of the children assuming that role. How would the interpersonal relationships play out if the child acted upon more traditional parent responsibilities and sensibilities? What would happen if one parent was removed from the equation and the remaining parent didn’t really know his or her own kids? How does the presence of a relative stranger affect an unstable dynamic?

I decided to have the mother pass away because I wanted to place the family in a desperate situation. The stakes needed to be raised to the point where the only viable option for the Dominguez family is to move forward. The arrival of Ana Daisy to a home of transition serves as the catalyst for the family to self-evaluate themselves and one another. The film explores how they begin that journey with the realization that things have changed permanently. A very important step for me in writing the screenplay was fusing my personal experiences with that of the Dominguez family. Jerry was an opportunity for me to explore certain feelings that have stayed with me for years. The intimate relationship between Jerry and his sister Glenda is almost a mirror image of the one that I have with my sister. It was imperative to me that the family came across as sincere and organic as possible. The intent was to highlight the cultural specifics of an evolving family and place them in the context of a universal story.