Erick Ventura Jr (26) and Celes Ventura (23), known as the Ventura Brothers, are based in the Sierra Gorda of Querétaro, Mexico. They have been involved in audiovisual productions since their youth, having made three short films: Gray Case (2018, Canada), Circus Silence (2019, Canada), and After Memories (2021, Mexico). They have also participated in various independent audiovisual productions in different production roles.
In 2018, they decided to pursue their passion for cinematography and studied in Toronto, Canada, graduating from Centennial College.
After years of study and practice, they returned to Mexico in 2021 to establish their own production company, Ventura Brothers.
Their inspiration for their debut feature film came from their childhood friend "Ricardo," who disappeared in the 2010 incident in Querétaro's Sierra Gorda where two trucks of migrants vanished en route to the United States. This tragedy had a profound impact on the Ventura Brothers, and after being migrants themselves for a while in Canada, they decided to write the script and return to Mexico to film their debut feature.
The film, titled "When Will You Return?," is based on their own childhood experiences and anecdotes. It explores migrant culture in Mexico and portrays a distant society and a harsh reality, where the breathtaking landscapes of the Mexican mountains come to life.
What is your project about? Our project is called "When Will You Return?" It is a feature film that explores the migrant culture in Mexico and portrays the harsh realities and struggles faced by migrants and their families. The film is based on our own childhood experiences and anecdotes, and it was inspired by the disappearance of our childhood friend in the 2010 incident in Querétaro's Sierra Gorda.
What are your ambitions with your project? Our ambition with our project is to bring attention to the issue of migration in Mexico and shed light on the struggles and hardships faced by migrants. We hope that our film can contribute to a better understanding and empathy for migrants and their experiences.
Tell us something about your shooting? What pleasantly surprised you? During our shooting, we were pleasantly surprised by the willingness and eagerness of the local community to help and support us in any way they could. It was heartwarming to see how our project resonated with the community, and it made the filming process much smoother and enjoyable.
For what group of spectators is your film targeted? Our film is targeted towards a diverse audience, including those who are interested in social issues, human rights, and immigration. We hope to reach people who are interested in learning more about the experiences of migrants and their struggles.
Why should distributors buy your film? Distributors should consider buying our film because it offers a unique perspective on the issue of migration in Mexico. It is a thought-provoking and emotional film that can resonate with audiences on a deep level. Additionally, the film was made with a low budget, which can make it an attractive investment for distributors.
How would you specify your work? What characterizes your film? We would describe our work as thought-provoking and emotional. Our film focuses on the human experiences and struggles of migrants, and it offers a unique perspective on the issue of migration. The film is characterized by its stunning visuals, authentic performances, and powerful storytelling.
Why did you decided to become a filmmaker? We decided to become filmmakers because we have a passion for storytelling and a desire to create meaningful and impactful art. We believe that film is a powerful medium that can inspire change and empathy, and we want to use our films to make a positive difference in the world.
Who is your role model? Our role models are Alfonso Cuarón, Guillermo del Toro y Alejando G. Iñarritu. We admire their ability to create visually stunning films that also have a strong emotional impact. Their commitment to storytelling and their passion for filmmaking are truly inspiring.
Which movies are your favorites? Why? Our favorite movies include "Days of Heaven" (Terrence Malick), "Metroplis" (Fritz Lang), and "2001: Space Odyssey" (Stanley Kubrick). These movies all offer powerful storytelling, stunning visuals, and thought-provoking themes that have had a profound impact on us.
Where do you look for inspiration for your films? We look for inspiration for our films in real-life experiences, personal anecdotes, and the experiences of people around us. We believe that the best stories are often the ones that come from real life, and we try to incorporate these elements into our work.
Which topics interest you the most? The topics that interest us the most are social issues, human rights, and immigration. We believe that film has the power to create empathy and understanding, and we want to use our skills to bring attention to these important issues. At the same time, we have a diversity of topics of interest that we’d like to film someday.
What do you consider your greatest achievement in your career? Our greatest achievement in our career so far is the completion of our debut feature film, "When Will You Return?" This film was a passion project for us, and we are incredibly proud of what we were able to accomplish with limited resources.
What do you consider most important about filming? We consider authenticity and emotional resonance to be the most important aspects of filming. We believe that films should be grounded and should connect with audiences on an emotional level.
Which film technique of shooting do you consider the best? We believe that the best film technique for shooting is a combination of strong visuals, authentic performances, and powerful storytelling. The key is to create a cohesive and immersive experience for the audience.
How would you rate/What is your opinion about current filmmaking? In our opinion, current filmmaking is very diverse and there is a great amount of content available, which is a great thing. There are more opportunities for independent filmmakers to have their films seen by a wider audience. There is also more experimentation in terms of formats, genres, and styles of filmmaking, which is very exciting. On the other hand, there is also a great amount of content that can be of lower quality and lacking in originality, but that is something common in any industry.
What can disappoint you in a movie? What can disappoint us in a movie is if the story is not well developed or if the characters are not interesting or poorly portrayed. Also, if the movie does not live up to the expectations generated by the trailer or advertising.
Who supports you in your film career? In our filmmaking career, our main support has been our family, who have provided their financial and emotional support. We have also received support from our teachers and colleagues in the filmmaking industry.
What are the reactions to your film? (opinion of spectators, film critics, friends and family) The response to our movie has been mostly positive. Viewers have expressed their admiration for the cinematography and the story it tells. Critics have highlighted the quality of the film and its authenticity. Our family and friends are very proud of us for achieving to make an independent film.
Have you already visited any of the prestigious film festivals? Yes! We have seen selected to two film festivals so far. International Filmmaker Festival od New York and Spotlight Film Festival.
What are your future plans in filmmaking carriere? Our future plans in the filmmaking career are to continue making films and expanding our production company. We want to explore new genres and tell stories that are important to us and to society. We are also interested in collaborating with other filmmakers to continue learning and growing in our career.
Interview was published with permission from our qualifying festival London Director Awards