"In film as in performance, I have always been attracted to non-linear, surreal universes where abstract images, concepts and narratives dress and adorn the human form," says Miami-based filmmaker Claudio Marcotulli.
South Florida PBS (WPBT and WXEL) will broadcast the world premiere of Zenú, a surreal short film on Tuesday, March 13, 2018 at 7:30 p.m. on WPBT and Thursday, March 15, 2018 at 5:30 p.m. on WXEL. Marcotulli's Zenú, is a bi-lingual short film (23 min) in Spanish and English, directed by Marcotulli and produced by performing artist Roxana Barba.
Zenú tells the story of Ignacio, a troubled musician who cannot find the inspiration to write the song he desperately needs to deliver. Seeking his muse, Ignacio canoes deep into a river kept sacred by a shaman, entering a world of wilderness and dreamlike characters, where ritual, performance and the surreal come together to stir our senses. Zenú's minimal use of dialogue and ecstatic visuals goes on a visceral journey told through symbols, lucid dreams and magical realism.
"After spending four years paddleboarding on Miami's Little River, and collecting footage, I wrote a ten page script with a few characters in mind," says Marcotulli. "Wanting to make a film that would boldly intersect art and performance, I invited three choreographers to compose a scene each. One of Paul Gauguin's paintings materialized as a painted world whose characters came alive entirely through movement and color."
Performing a shamanic and mystic dance under the I-95 bridge, choreographer Lazaro Godoy (Timtu) hands Ignacio a pre-Columbian flute that will later save him from his fate.
According to Marcotulli, Zenú intersects art and performance, exploring our place in nature and the surreal.
"The film features local dance performers such as Lazaro Godoy, Carlota Pradera and Roxana Barba, among others. I worked with an amazing crew (all local filmmakers and artists) and shot most of the film on Miami's Little River (El Portal)," says Marcotulli.
Zenú is part of the PBS South Florida's Filmmaker Project. The project, co-directed by three senior Emmy Award-winning South Florida PBS staffers and local film professionals, had, as its goal to acquire, broadcast and distribute emerging South Florida filmmakers work as well as provide mentorship and guidance as they build careers from their passions. The results of this collaboration will be seen in the form of short and long-form independent films that will air on WPBT and WXEL through June 2018.
Born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela, Marcotulli is a Miami-based filmmaker. Initially trained as aeronautical engineer, he received his B.F.A from Emerson College in Boston, and M.F.A from the Miami International University of Art and Design. He is currently one of six artists in residence as part of MDC Live Arts Lab Alliance (LALA).
film-maker is made possible in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. And by the South Florida PBS Arts Challenge; ArtCenter/South. The making of Zenú received support from The Awesome Foundation, MDC Live Arts’ LALA Residency and Miami Film Development Project.