Presences tells the story of a man who, after losing his wife, faces supernatural situations: “It takes you on a trip to hell and back, it is a film with a super production, to be produced in Mexico”, said director Luis Mandoki.
Asked what his influences were, he explained: “I can tell you about The Night of the Demon, by James Wan, or The Sixth Sense, those were the influences. It has one of those plots that takes you where you least expect it; for the viewer it will be a very shocking and exciting film, it will move fibers, and it is also a rollercoaster that keeps you on the edge of the chair ”.
Filming concluded a few days ago, and Mandoki explained that they were six months of rehearsals and a shoot of several weeks since March of this year in Tlalpujahua, Michoacán. Much of 2020 was dedicated to the first stage of the film, being his first exercise in the horror genre, he prepared to make a storyboard to arrive prepared on the set.
Filming a movie in times of pandemic brings with it multiple challenges ranging from preventing COVID-19 infections on set, to assuming increases in production costs due to the implementation of health protocols. Luis Mandoki assumed this and more with the filming of Presencias, the film with which he made his horror film debut.
“It is complicated in many ways. Budgets are raised to film without contagion accidents that could stop production; on the other hand, there is a lot of rigor to follow the protocol, the use of masks, food; It is a totally different way of filming, fortunately we had no problems ”, Luis Mandoki commented to M2.
And he insists that it is possible to do so, “but that implies other risks, I mean that you must have a film that guarantees you a marketing that will lead you to recovery at the box office. These are the new conditions of cinema and one has to be very creative to survive ”, added the filmmaker about his work.
The way it seeks to compete is with a story that, from its inception, was thought of as a large-format project.
Yalitza returns to the cinema
Presences is starring Alberto Ammann and has in its cast Yalitza Aparicio, whom Mandoki met during the filming of Rome, Alfonso Cuarón’s film for which he received an Oscar nomination. The actress rejected several projects that would bring her back to the big screen, until the character indicated with Presences arrived.
“She was the ideal actress for this character, when I went to visit Alfonso I was very impressed by her talent, since she had never acted, she had strength, naturalness and instincts that few actors have, then she told me that after Rome everyone offered her stereotypical characters, that’s why I hadn’t made another movie, “said Luis.
Mandoki continues talking about the return of the actress, and assures that “She loved this story, although she is not the protagonist, she is a different character, a village woman, but not submissive; a woman of integrity, independent and very strong. I told her to give me rehearsal times, she loved the idea, she has that innocence, she is very receptive and easy to take her to where the story needs it ”, concluded Mandoki.