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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Goya winner Campanella: making Metegol was ‘intense’

Argentine filmmaker Juan José Campanella at Metegol’s premiere in Buenos Aires.

Winning in Madrid’s lavish Sunday gala was unexpected and made Argentina’s Juan José Campanella reminisce about how difficult it was to shoot the animation film Metegol.

“It was like rowing in tar” for three years, Campanella told reporters yesterday before explaining that the project required a level of high tech development that was unparalleled in Argentina.

“This experience put us all to the test. With a regular film, you begin it and finish it in six months. The guys are used to working in different projects at a time. So, in this case… working with 200 people, for three years, was extremely intense. For more than two years, we didn’t even know if we were going to be able to finish the film, it was very difficult,” Campanella said.

The Argentine director, who won an Oscar in 2010 for El secreto de sus ojos (The Secrety in Their Eyes), highlighted that this sort of animated features are made with US$200-million budgets in the US. Metegol, by comparison, had a budget of US$20 million, which might be high by Argentine standards but is really very low for a product that had no predecessors on the local film market.

For Metegol, Campanella called quite a few experts from abroad who, after a couple of months on the job, would leave the project, persuaded that it couldn’t be finished due to under-funding. “That just eats away at your confidence,” Campanella told reporters.

The popular filmmaker found out about his Goya win when he was in the middle of his latest play, Parque Lezama. He told reporters he wasn’t expecting to win because the announcement came very late and he hadn’t received any calls — until his phone rang and a journalist told him the news.

Campanella said he didn’t attend the Goya Awards because he doesn’t like such galas. “The organizers weren’t going to pay for my ticket and the truth is I don’t travel to receive awards anywhere, I just don’t like that. As we’ve all seen at the Martín Fierro Awards, these occasions are just tension builders,” he mused. “If I win an award, I get so shy that I don’t know what to say and I’m turning more skittish year by year. But then, if you lose, you have to put on a smile that doesn’t fool anyone,” Campanella joked.

Herald staff

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