Review and Interview: EL JEREMIAS

Child Star Martin Castro from “El Jeremías” Shares His Experience

By Liz Lopez

Rating: A

Last year, the Austin Film Festival (AFF) had a Stories from Abroad category and they featured the Spanish language film from Mexico, “El Jeremías.” Written by Ana Sofía Clerici and directed by Anwar Safa, this 99 minute family comedy/drama went on to win the Audience Award during the festival and the lead actor, Martin Castro, garnered the Mexican Academy of Film Award, an Ariel, in the Breakthrough Male Performance category this year. It is one among the nine nominations the film received for the 58th Ariel Awards.

This is a film I highly recommend, especially if film fans are looking for a family friendly film. A very bright eight year old, Jeremías (Martin Castro), finds himself bullied by his peers because they do not understand him. He is head and shoulders above the intelligence of his fellow students and he has a tendency to be precise and meticulous. Even his parents, grandparents and neighbors don’t seem to know quite what to make of the child. Unfortunately, it appears the school system in his town in Mexico does not seem to be equipped to have him tested for what is known in the United States as “gifted and talented” in schools. Perhaps it is also not a free test provided to the families. Needless to say there are many misunderstandings and there are some great comedic moments in the film surrounding this. There does come a time when he is recognized for the skill and genius that he is, but it comes with choices he is not prepared to make, for himself or his family. While Jeremías is following one path for his future, he also realizes so much more about the family unit as well. He knows making one decision impacts another and that can be a tough choice, but once he is in the big city, he gets the bigger picture.

For our readers, the young child actor participated in an interview about the film and his experience.

Actor Martin Castro

Actor Martin Castro

The online film database does not list a prior film credit for Castro, and I inquired about how he became involved in this production. “I never thought about becoming an actor. One day, my mother mentioned the casting call to me. I wanted to go see what it was about and have this experience to keep for myself. I never thought I would get so far!” As for his Ariel award, “I am very happy about winning. All the work that I put into the film, what I rehearsed, the struggles, went into that Ariel.”

Since this is his first film, he prepared with his coach, Paloma Arredondo, to learn his lines and about emotion in a manner that he was able to understand. In response to what he feels was a big challenge to becoming an actor, he said, “being able to withstand the day to day work, as it is tiring to have to repeat the scenes. It is exhausting.”

Filming was done in Hermosillo for three weeks and a month in Mexico City. When asked what one thing he considered to be a bit difficult, he said it was being away from his family. “My aunt went with me, but not seeing my mother and father often was hard. They had to work and my sibling was a newborn then.”

On the other hand, he is very happy about having the experience of meeting so many people and also famous actors, including his well known co-stars Jesus Ochoa, Isela Vega and Daniel Giménez Cacho.

The young actor stated he is currently considering a proposal for a soccer themed film and it is a sport he enjoys. “I would like to continue doing more film, theater and (television) series, as I like to act.”

If you did not view the film during the festival last fall, or during the AFF’s Audience Award Series screening this past summer, you are in luck. El Jeremias will have a national theatrical release as of October 21st and according to the Fandango website, the film will be playing at the Regal Metropolitan Theater in Austin. http://www.fandango.com/eljeremias_196260/movieoverview

Source: Sony Pictures

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