Manco Cápac introduces us to Elisbán, a young man who comes to the city of Puno in search of a friend and the promise of a job. But when he cannot find it, he must survive in a hostile city not only because of the weather.
Filmed in Puno, under the direction of Henry Vallejo and starring Jesús Luque, the film is selected as a candidate for the awards of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences of the United States.
“The first challenge we had was to pay tribute to the Incas because we dreamed of a period film. First, we were going to make a tape that would talk about the first Inca or the last, but we know that it is very expensive. Probably, neither money nor life would reach us, so we began to think about a current story that is socially relevant and that can be told as simply as possible, ”Vallejo recalls about his second feature film.
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He points out that the character and name of the protagonist was taken from a schoolmate he had in the 80s. “Elisbán was called a student who was always late and did not complete his tasks, who knows why, he had family problems and was punished for the teachers. At that time, violence against students was common. I don’t know what happened to his life, we lost track of him. But let’s say that many of those images of those students subjected by abusive teachers remained imprinted in my mind. One day I asked myself why not make a story come to life with a character with that name and his experiences from my point of view ”.
What do you mean in Manco Capac?
The intention was to create a story that does not have those extreme conflicts that are always used, let’s say, blood, persecution, death, and it is not that it is wrong, but we wanted to prove that we could be able to entertain. It was a big challenge. It is a story with social issues.
How do you take the Oscar nomination?
Actually we were already happy with having finished editing the film, having it ready. Now what is going to happen with festivals, with the Oscar, I think the film defends itself. We do not expect anything from that. If something bigger is coming, it’s not something we’re waiting for.
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“There are many Elisbans”
For Jesús Luque (22), giving life to Elisbán earned him being considered the best actor in the recent edition of the Lima Film Festival. This fact motivated him even more in his dream of becoming a theater teacher, a career that he is currently studying.
“I found out about my Oscar nomination at a very sad time in my life. I had just buried my younger brother who had an accident. The next day I turned on the cell phone and there was the news ”, tells us this young man, who is a Systems Development technician and a Military Service graduate.
“Manco Cápac is a story that moves and that every Peruvian has passed or seen in one way or another. It is a situation that is not alien. There are still many Elisbanes. I believe that there are still things that have not changed and the worst thing is that people are not surprised, as society accepts it, discrimination and abuse continue to be experienced. The movie talks about that ”.