Electronic Earth is proud to announce that Poly, written and directed by female Colombian first-time filmmaker Yeimy Daza, will world premiere in Italy during the Salento International Film Festival (SIFF 2020).
Poly follows a young woman whose desperate search for love has her stuck in the middle of a toxic polyamorous relationship. Realizing she can’t erase her past choices, Poly (portrayed by Columbian actor Natalia Aranguren) begins to learn that the only way to find happiness is by taking care of herself, correcting her mistakes and moving on.
In advance of the festival dates we caught up with Ms. Daza for a brief discussion about some of the aspects of bringing her story to life.
Electronic Earth (E2):
We know you don’t have a lot of time today so let’s jump right into it.!
We’ve heard that Poly has an interesting personal attachment to you, can you explain what that attachment is and how the story for the film came about?
Yeimy Daza (Yeimy):
Sure! Poly is loosely based upon some personal experiences. I had very vivid moments and images that became scenes in my head and I wanted to share them with the world. I’ve always been interested in human relationships, our feelings, sexual experiences and how everything is connected with our behavior. The story is a balance between fiction and that lived reality so it came very naturally.
Wow, what an experience that must’ve been to put forward for your first film project.
It’s rather fitting that as an international filmmaker your film is celebrating its world premiere in Italy at the Salento International Film Festival (SIFF) 2020.
How does that feel as a first time filmmaker to premiere in another country?
It makes me feel that the film is complete now. I think that when people see your film in different places around the world it completes the purpose of it and of being a filmmaker. I became a filmmaker because I wanted to tell stories through sharing my thoughts and feelings with others hoping to connect people around the world; the international premiere of Poly in Italy at SIFF is definitely a step towards that goal and I love the idea that a piece of me and everybody who made this project possible will be appreciated in italy because of it.
What are you looking forward to the most from the experience of having Poly premiere in Italy?
I can’t wait to hear the audience comments and questions, I really hope that Poly makes them feel or question something within themselves about relationships – how people act within them and how insecurities can drive jealousy or how even just the lack of ability to accept your own mistakes can incite such discourse between people. These are all strong characteristics found within the main character of the film, Poly.
Speaking of the main character, Poly is portrayed by actor Natalia Aranguren also from Colombia, how did you decide to work her on such an emotionally charged role for the film?
The first time I met with and spoke to Natalia I sensed a strong person who would be able to give me the emotional and vulnerable performance that the character required. Prior to Poly we also had the opportunity to work together on a project where she was able to demonstrate her abilities with uncomfortable storytelling that showed me that as an actress she could do whatever was necessary for the character. Natalia is an actress that would never complain, always explores different possibilities and wants to always deliver the best performance!
The fact that she’s Latina and feels drama the same way I do also helped us to connect. I feel like actors can deliver the best work when they can be vulnerable so I try to be myself.
With such a dramatic story, you selected Artem Mykhailetskyi to be Poly’s cinematographer to work with in capturing the emotion you wrote – what went into determining who would lead your camera team?
I’d been following Artem’s work and had already decided that I wanted to work with him. He has a very good eye for depicting emotion in the images he captures utilizing his strong understanding of light. it was definitely of benefit when it was time to set up specific tone and atmosphere, his participation benefited production quite a bit. Artem also let himself view things from Poly’s perspective and experience the dilemma she was facing. Even tho he has very different opinions about relationships it helped me approach the story differently than it was written as an audience is likely to receive a polyamorous relationship in a different way than I do.
Artem was also a big part of developing the script and a big support for me throughout the whole process of making Poly, from script to completion.
It really seems like you know what you wanted and went for it. Was this the same scenario in the decision to bring in Sean Young as the post-production coordinator and as an additional producer on Poly? Can you bring some light to that decision and how Poly benefited from it?
Sean has a very good reputation, especially for his mindfulness in production agreements and paperwork. With Poly being my first short film in Canada I didn’t want to make any mistakes so he was the best candidate and was always ready to help me understand the ins and outs of what those documents were for. He was also part of the film’s beginnings but unfortunately wasn’t able to be a part of pre production; Luckily, he was available for post-production though! Sean was very professional in revising our paperwork and setting up a marketing plan for Poly with his production company Electronic Earth. This allowed Poly to have a website and be granted exposure on many other online platforms that enhance the professionalism of the film.
From the final look and feel of the film, it looks like the whole team gelled really well, what would you comment about in the experience of working with such a talented cast and crew on your directorial debut?
I loved my crew! They are my friends and my family. After Poly they became my unconditional crew. I think we had a lot of fun with latin culture on set (laughs), I was extremely lucky to work with such talented and passionate people who were crazy enough to follow me through this journey. I am a very energetic person and tried to spread that energy to them while working together. From this experience I already know who I am gonna hire for my next project (laughs).
I’ll never stop being grateful for their help to make Poly come alive – all of the credit goes to them.
If I was something of a good director, it is thanks to them.
Wow, I’m sure the team mirrors those sentiments – especially now that their work will be internationally recognized with the selection at SIFF. What will be your plans with Poly after the film has a festival run and what are your plans to follow it?
During Poly, Natalia (who portrayed Poly) and I became best friends. We actually co-directed another short film together afterwards which is going to start it’s festival run soon – we’re now looking forward to starting development on our first feature. A psychological thriller with, again, a strong woman as the main character who has vulnerabilities and a lot of fears but also dreams that help her in her day to day struggles.
We want to touch on themes like sexual abuse, psycological traumas, the film industry and schizophrenia.
Those are ambitious plans, we wish you the best of luck with all of your goals and look forward to next time.
Thank you very much for your positivity and this space.
Good luck at SIFF 2020!
The trailer for Poly:
The Italy-based Salento International film festival (SIFF) has been devoted to celebrating international independent cinema and will present Poly as part of it’s Woman In Film Short Film Program during the September 1st through 6th, 2020 festival dates.
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