Short films have always been an attractive medium for thousands of independent filmmakers. Short films don't cost as much as feature films, don't need the control of any film studio, have more chances to be accepted in film festivals winning accolades and contain a full story in a reduced time. So they come in handy when an independent filmmaker like Agatino Zurría wants to put his work out in the open, for all to see.
This is the third short film Agatino Zurría wrote, produced and directed, and he second time he has been nominated as Best Director at the Miami Life Awards (He won three awards in 2011 including Best Director, Best Short Film and Best Actress for Julie Ferrer).
La Mesa Esta Servida (Dinner Is Served) is a 13-minute long, one-take film that depicts three couple of friends getting together for dinner.
"Stories come from the simplest ideas" says Agatino. "And then they develop into something interesting, depending on the genre (comedy, drama, horror) and the subject you want to observe.
In this case, it is Dinner parties that draws Agatino's attention, and what people expect to find in them. "They are part of our social routine. Every once in a while you and your spouse (or better half) attend a dinner party with friends just to have a good time between people you care about...but who knows what lurks in each person's mind? or what happens behind closed doors of each couple's life?
Dinner Is Served was filmed in September 2011, on Location in Homestead, FL. and its cast is all from South Florida: Ika Santamaría (an actress, filmmaker and acting instructor, whose film "Equal Strengh" has won awards at film festivals), Izzy Martinez and Edna Gutierrez (whose film "30 Days" has just won two awards at the recent Miami Life Awards Ceremony), and Neffer Rojas and Andres Mejía (active members of the Stage Company SAH). The only actor in the film that is not from South Florida is Agatino's long time friend Juan Carlos Pinedo (actor in many short films and stage plays) who came from Boston.
The film is a short tour-de-force not only for Agatino as director, but also for his cast, because early in the production, it was agreed along with his Cinematographer and Cameraman Jonathan Chekroune and Martín Castañeda, that the film had to be shot in one take. So its 13 minutes length is actually a non-stop take, in real time, of what happens in this house when a woman hosts a dinner party so that she can address some issues that have been bothering her lately.
"If you pay attention to the story..." says Agatino Zurría, "you will be part of the guests at this dinner party, listening to Helena tell her afternoon discoveries... or maybe the guests can be part of the audience looking at a story unfolding right in front of them. It works both ways".