“K I L L E R” (EXCLUSIVE) Interview with Melanie Belmonte

2024 February 5

“K I L L E R” (EXCLUSIVE) Interview with Melanie Belmonte

-Who is Melanie Belmonte?

I could define myself as a multifaceted artist who constantly seeks to train. Having studied two Degrees, two Masters and four Specializations, in my day to day, I continue to expand my knowledge.As a producer, director, screenwriter, editor and film editor, I have 19 multi-award-winning films to date, with some of them proudly included in the American film book “Short Films: A Non-Exhaustive List of Highly Creative Short” (Orlando-Florida, USA, 2023).As a writer with several international first prizes, my works have been published in more than 65 international collective anthologies, and in 2022, my latest book ‘Catarsis’ was published by Editorial Amarante.As a painter and digital artist, I have exhibited in the USA (New York and Miami) and in Europe (Switzerland, Italy, and Spain). Art is life and my life is art. For more information about my work: https://linktr.ee/melaniebelmonte

-What inspired you to become a filmmaker?

Undoubtedly, the need to transfer my own concept of art to the language of the moving image. I like to work outside the conventional and address a demanding minority audience in order to awaken interest in new situations of perception impossible to pigeonhole and difficult to digest. I enjoy experimenting with technical resources and film editing, in order to explore the possibilities offered by art. Generating, observing and reflecting on new creative proposals is fundamental to continue creating and showing a cinema beyond our gaze, our thoughts and feelings, and our reality, in an effort to expand artistic perception and awareness.

-Do you think the cinema can bring a change in the society?

Of course. From a sociological point of view, since the first film projection in 1895, cinema has had a great influence on the way we see the world and the actions of the “masses”. As an agent of change and a reflection of society, whether as artistic or commercial cinema, it is a powerful double-edged tool that feeds on reality to influence it with the aim of raising awareness, sensitizing and reflecting people. Making groups visible, denouncing problems, or educating (informally) by promoting diversity and transmitting intercultural values to the spectator in order to carry out subsequent social changes or revolutions, confirm the capacity of cinema to have an impact on personal values, customs, consumption or reference archetypes by transferring life models or ideals of conduct in the pedagogy of society.

It promotes success, failure, the difference between good and evil… fulfilling a socialization function in the cultural map of the perception and interpretation of reality about, for example, living together as a couple, family breakdown or homosexuality, seeking to authenticate thoughts and behaviors that will be assumed as reasonably valid. However, it cannot be ignored that it is also possible to find negative consequences derived from its influence. An example can be the manipulation and emotional impact -which each individual experiences in a unique way- self-identifying, imitating and projecting harmful situations; developing prejudices generated towards certain mental pathologies; or the use that governments can give to cinema as a gigantic advertising tool that has the power to spread their ideology.

-What would you change in the world?

Rather than responding to what I would change in the world, I think it is more interesting to focus on the need for a highly qualified education, not only to respond to the demands of capitalist production, but to respond to the ability to reflect, question and rebel against the servitude of a system model that is imposed, and by which we seem to have been incapacitated in the field of building the collective imaginary from a democratic, equitable and solidary position in order to materialize a horizon of social and environmental justice, equity and sustainability.

Under the umbrella of education, a greater and more forceful linkage of agents and social movements should be demanded to provoke a sustainable and global change of citizenship in order to transform and improve -with a firm will-, the social, environmental, economic, political and cultural conditions of the world in which we live.

-Where do you see the film industry going in the next 100 years?

In a world where technology is advancing by leaps and bounds, Artificial Intelligence (AI), which will revolutionize every social aspect of our lives and has the potential to automate many of the processes involved in the creation of a film, has become a tangible reality in the film industry, shaking its foundations by redefining it from screenwriting to post-production. And this is just the beginning.

Although it is difficult to predict with certainty where the film industry will be heading in the next 100 years, in the short and medium term, it is clear that “movies will be able to adapt to tastes and emotions in real time, changing their plots, characters or even their genre to offer the perfect unique cinematic experience for each viewer. Production processes will become more efficient, there will be new forms of acting (digital actors) and storytelling, and all this could threaten jobs in the film industry and raise ethical questions about authorship and creativity” (Thirtyfive, 2023).In fact, the first film to be made entirely with AI has already been shot, which is a serious warning about the future of cinema.

The film “Maharaja in Denim” (adapted from Khushwant Singh’s bestseller) -created by the India-based startup Intelliflicks Studios, and expected to be released in 2025-, “represents a revolutionary technical leap, as well as the ethical and moral questions it raises about copyright infringement and intellectual property” (Mansilla, 2024). And the fact is that all the elements of the production, from the characters to the locations (with the exception of the script), are generated by artificial intelligence algorithms. On the other hand, I firmly believe that the spectator will play a fundamental role in the future of cinema through inverse experiences that allow him or her to interact with the characters, and by making decisions that affect the development of the plot itself thanks to the use of virtual reality devices. In short, the future of cinema is yet to be written, and everything that seems impossible or science fiction in the present, can undoubtedly become a future reality.