Chat w/ Jennifer Sharp, director of 'Una Great Movie' | Brooklyn FilmFest

UNA GREAT MOVIE playing at Brooklyn Film Festival 2019, is a beautiful movie about a black American woman traveling to Mexico, slowly becomes a romantic comedy with an all-white cast. A quirky cerebral look into commercialism and greed, juxtaposed with a heartwarming movie that challenges stereotypes. Una Great Movie uses comedy to reflect on relevant contemporary issues. It is fun and humorous with a unique storytelling style that incorporates a professional cast mixed with local Mexican non-actors.

We talked to the director and writer of the film Jennifer Sharp. Here are the excerpts

- What made you make this film?

The initial inspiration was based on a small town in Mexico that I found in 1999 while traveling with a friend. I loved the town and the people and was inspired to make a movie there.  I wanted to share the magic of that place and how it felt as a black woman in Mexico. For the next 16 years I tried relentlessly to get the movie made, during which time the script transformed over and over again. Finally becoming what it is now, which actually mixes my true experiences in Hollywood trying to get the movie made, with the beautiful Mexican story that I had been wanting to make for years.

- What was the biggest challenges in making this film? How did you overcome them?

The biggest challenge (out of many) would be producing a movie in Mexico and having to find an entire crew in a country, where I knew absolutely nothing about the film industry. I had many situations where I had to speak fluent Spanish, and I wasn't sure if I could handle those situations. But mother is the necessity of invention for sure, and when I needed to up my Spanish speaking skills to have an hour long meeting with the mayor of the town, I just did it. The brain is pretty amazing!

- What film and filmmakers inspire you?

Charlie Kaufman is a genius and his movie Synechdoche, although it had little commercial success, I believe is the truest portrayal of life I have ever seen in a movie.

- How has been your experience at BFF?

I am super impressed with the quality of every movie I have seen so far at the Brooklyn film Festival and I'm excited to spend the week seeing more and meeting more filmmakers. The staff are welcoming and excited about the event and supportive. It's been a wonderful experience and has been a great way to kick off my festival experience. I love their commitment to the theme this year of highlighting diverse and creative films that are against the norm.

- What's your most favorite and least favorite thing about New York?

I love the energy here and the ability to get anywhere in the city without driving. I live in LA, so it hinders the lifestyle trying to avoid traffic or not driving after you go out to a party. New York is more accessible with the city at your disposal!

My least favorite thing is the amount of people and lack of nature. Yes, there are parks, but I like cities with more green spaces all around without having to go to a public park.