The film ‘Claret’ is coming to Spanish cinemas on 24 September. A few days before its premiere, we would like to share this interview conducted by Javier Navascués for InfoCatólica with its director, Pablo Moreno:
Why did you start making films with religious themes?
It wasn’t part of any plan, it just came about one day when I was watching a film about Teresa of Calcutta at home. I was very moved, I understood at that moment the meaning of vocation and I thought that my path could go in this direction. I do many other things and my company has touched on different themes, but this type of film is special for us and we give it privileged treatment.
Is there a lack of a Catholic film industry in Spain and a commitment to religious cinema, as in Italy for example?
Yes, there is a lack of infrastructure and support. Sometimes we feel very lonely. You also need to build audiences, if you make a film, you need the spectator, you need people to go to the cinema to see it, that means closing the circle, because films are made to be seen and enjoyed by someone. If there are no spectators, the cinemas and platforms, that is, the places where you can usually find films, understand that they are not relevant enough and they don’t program you. Furthermore, for there to be an industry, productions have to be at least minimally profitable, and that enough money is collected to be able to continue making more, telling more stories, generating jobs and wealth. Without viewers, all this is not possible.
What does the release of the film Claret on 24 September after the restrictions mean for you?
It is very exciting, the film should have been released a year ago, but because of the pandemic and the restrictions we were unable to show it almost anywhere. We feel very fortunate to be able to reach theatres, we know and we are aware that the situation today is not like it was four years ago when we released our previous film, but our commitment to release in theatres is firm, we want to contribute, as many others are doing, to release in times of pandemic. Culture is necessary, it has kept us sane during the confinements, we have to bet on its continuity. Besides, going to the cinema is safe.
What does the fact that you are a candidate for the Goya awards mean for you?
Well, being a candidate is not much, I see it as a general recognition from the industry itself, we are and we comply with the rules to be able to compete in the Goya Awards, it would be another thing to be nominated, that’s almost like a prize. It’s always exciting to send your film to the Academy, even if you’re not nominated.
Could this film be a turning point in an already solid career?
Without a doubt, this film is a great effort to tell a great story in the best possible way, with the means we have. The film Un Dios prohibido marked us and changed us as a company and as professionals, with Claret we have made a change in the way we produce, starting a new stage, where we begin to tell bigger and more complex stories.
Why did you decide to film the life of the missionary saint?
We have a great relationship with the Claretian Missionaries, since Un Dios prohibido we also feel a bit Claretian ourselves, at one point we made them the proposal to make a film about Claret and they liked the idea.
Do you have a personal devotion to him?
Now I do, before I hardly knew him. While I was writing the script I was looking for him, trying to meet the saint face to face, I did a lot of research and almost despaired. One day he found me, I was on my way and he came up to me… When I discovered who the real Claret was I felt vertigo, he is an apostle, intellectual, missionary, fighter for justice, in short, a character of great stature.
A bishop willing to give his life to defend the truth, yes, he gave everything he had
Yes, he gave everything he had to defend it, with naturalness and talent, without complexes, with affection and respect.
What can his life and legacy contribute to the man of today?
Claret is a declaration of intent, there are elements of his spirituality, of his way of seeing the world that are very relevant today, his fight against slavery, against racism, his desire to educate people, to enlighten them in the midst of circumstances such as those of the 19th century, a terrible century, which coincidentally seems to me to have parallels with our times and circumstances today.
Why would you recommend going to see it?
It is a different kind of film, it reveals a fascinating character, and it takes us into events that are largely unknown to most viewers. Visually it is very beautiful, and the actors have done a fantastic job.
Javier Navascués | InfoCatólica | PHOTOGRAPH: InfoCatólica