"Shadows" Wins Best Short Film at LALIFF

Sometimes the only way out is through your mind. An interview with star Jackie Di Crystal

By LatinoLA Sources
Published on LatinoLA: July 27, 2011

"Shadows" Wins Best Short Film at LALIFF

Jackie Di Crystal (Teresa) and Natascha Berg (Diana) give a riveting performance as political prisoners in the short film "Shadows" which was judged as best short film in the 15h annual Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival (LALIFF).

Teresa is captured while working as a reporter and imprisoned for exercising her first amendment right to freedom of speech and press. Everything is taken from her and her life threatened daily. She discovers that in her darkest moments her mind has the ability to liberate her. She finds a way of self expression in the shadows she portrays in the walls of the gritty cell in which she is held captive.

She teaches the new prisoner, Diana how to do Shadows on the wall to cope and at the same time scape from the unthinkable situation they find themselves in.

Jackie Di Crystal, who stars as Teresa, is the niece of a real political prisoner, Commandant Huber Matos who was imprisoned 20 years for standing up for freedom in the jails of Cuba. She used her background to prepare for this complex character. The film is directed by text Javier Barbera Javier Barbera from Barcelona, Spain. Javier has directed other films such as "Collapse" and "Cold Grip." His direction was key in bringing this film to fruition.

We asked actress, Jackie Di Crystal (pictured, with writer Roberto Bengoa) how was it to work in "Shadows?"

She replied: "Working in "Shadows" was an amazing experience for me. ?áThe role, of 'Teresa' was challenging. I had to go to a dark and sad place to explore the role. The shooting was intense, we worked 16 hour days in a very cold studio and I was wet from head to toes the entire shoot. Whenever we cut for more than five minutes I'd take off my wet shirt and put a dry robe.

"When I had to start shooting again I'd micro-wave my cold shirt so I can put it on and the difference in temperature wouldn't shock my warm body. Nevertheless, I loved the experience. This role made me step up as an actress and I would do it again.?áI enjoyed working with actress Natascha Berg (Diana) who did an amazing job and Raul Buenfil who portrays the most fearful antagonist.

"One of the reasons, I accepted this role is because I felt that the film will be a great vehicle to bring awareness to the story and the fact a women is suffering such cruelties in a prison in some part of the world today. This are things we do not want to acknowledge that go on and shouldn't. And only by admitting that something is happening can you then change it.

"Director Javier Barbera did an extraordinary job of bringing to life a film without words only visuals and breath taking performances that will have you at the edge of your seat with your heart in a knot the entire film. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3605251/ Roberto Bengoa wrote the film that allowed all of us to use his palette of colors to create on his canvas and bring "Shadows" to life."

Shadows is a must see.

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