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Myriam Ballesteros: Don’t be afraid of failing27.02.2020

The 2nd edition of Papaya Rocks Film Festival will take place on February 27th in London. Just before the event, we interviewed the director of Mi Mejor Amiga – one of the films that will be screened at the festival.

What does it mean for you to have your film screened at the Papaya Rocks Film Festival?

I find it very interesting to be able to meet people from all around the world that are willing to tell stories.

Do you think nerves will set in closer to your screening?

Well, you are always a bit nervous before the screening but I find it important to face the audience and discover their reactions.

Tell us a little bit about your work. How did this film come about?

I have been creating and directing cartoons for kids for almost 30 years. When I sold one of my companies a few years ago, I decided to focus more on the female universe and I fought to get two very special girls to be the main characters of the story. Carola, a nerd, and Annie, a robot created by her.

What was the inspiration behind your screenplay?

To create characters where the audience can feel represented. Carola, as it happens to many girls nowadays, has relationship problems with her peers as she feels lonely and misunderstood. Inspiration for Carola’s personality comes a bit from Amy from The Big Bang Theory and Pippi Longstocking, and for Annie, it was Miyazaki’s little Ponyo.

What was the hardest scene for you to film?

Explaining at the beginning of the story how Carola lost her parents as a child, without traumatizing anyone.

What were the biggest challenges you faced making this film?

Introducing Carola, the main character that is a nerd with no friends. It was also challenging to make the kids identify with her and understand her needs to be loved and have a friend.

 Have you always wanted to be a filmmaker?

Since I was a child I always wanted to create stories. I studied journalism but what I always felt passionate about were stories, especially those told with images. As I mentioned before, it has been almost 30 years since I first started creating and directing series and short films for kids.

As a filmmaker, how important is the collaborative process for you? 

It’s essential to have a team that understands what it is you want to convey and that helps you make it real. Everyone needs to be involved, to contribute with their creativity and to make an effort to make the story theirs, too.

Do you have any advice or tips for a fellow filmmaker?

Don’t be afraid of failing. You might find people who do not like your story, that is not that big of a problem. You will for sure find someone who gets excited with your vision and understands it.

What are you currently working on?

I just finished another short film called Cinderella Swing and I am trying to get two children cartoon projects financed, 52 eleven-minute episodes each. One of them, called Annie & Carola, will include both characters from this short and the other one will be named The Masked Cinderella.

What do you hope people will take away from your film?

The human need to have friends.


More information regarding the 2nd edition of Papaya Rocks Film Festival can be found here.

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