Director Jonás Trueba and Producer Javier Lafuente, from ‘The Wishful Thinkers’

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Next Saturday, the 11th of October, the ESFF hosts the UK premiere of ‘The Wishful Thinkers’. Jonás Trueba, Director of the film, and Javier Lafuente, Producer, tell us a bit about the film in this interview.


‘The Wishful Thinkers’ tells the story of a filmmaker who cannot live without films and who sees his own life as if it were a film. How much of it is auto-biographical?

Jonás Trueba: I think this is a confusion that the film produces, because the film wants to transmit love for cinema. But the truth of the matter is that the main character is not exactly like that. In fact, he doesn’t watch any films until the end, and he only does so because he wants to seduce a woman – that’s why he takes her to the cinema. In a previous scene, he arranges a cinema date with as female friend, but ends up suggesting that they skip the film and go straight for a meal instead. When given the choice of dinner in good company and a film, he picks the dinner. I myself can be a bit like that sometimes, and of course I can identify myself with León, but I wouldn’t like people to think of me as of those people who just lives for, and in, the cinema. I love to live life; and it’s within living a rich life that cinema is important – because it increases the perception of being alive.

Spanish cinema has been adversely affected by the economic crisis of recent years. How has this affected you and your new projects?

Javier Lafuente: It affects me a lot indeed. Developing a project is much more complicated nowadays than before. We need more time and to do more work, and cooperation with different people is essential. In order to solve some of these difficulties our next project will follow on from the experiences we underwent whilst making the ‘The Wishful Thinkers’ –  the self-financing, the friendships, the cut-backs and the work that went into it. This time we want to get out of our comfort zone and venture into the unknown with a more improvised and risky production. We want to experience the excitement and the freedom of making cinema without depending on anyone.

‘The Wishful Thinkers’ will be screened on the 11th of October. Why should people go along to see the film?

Jonás Trueba: For us, the big surprise with this film has been that a lot of people identify themselves with it – and I’m not just talking about people involved with the film industry, quite the opposite. I think that the people who most enjoy the film are people who don’t work in the industry. They seem to be almost infected by the optimism that emerges towards the end of the film like it’s something that is yet to come.

Javier Lafuente: I think that ‘The Wishful Thinkers’ talks about things that are very recognizable and familiar to the audience, like going out at night, catching up with friends, having dinner with a woman, wasting time, being alone, watching a movie, falling in love… Some of these aspects are so small in our own lives that they usually pass unnoticed.