Director Bruno Santamaria brings his own story to the cinema – El Sol de México

In the midst of discovering his sexual identity, Bruno faced one of the most difficult moments of his life, news that changed his way of dealing with life and fractured the family ties that, until then, had been forged.

His dad was diagnosed with HIV. It is the nineties, in the Mexican capital; Her parents, with the best posture, try to minimize their feeling of sadness so as not to affect their children.

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Although it seemed that everything was going well, the stigmas of the disease, the criticism from society and the lack of information were the great obstacle that Bruno and his family faced for six long months.

This is how the beginning of the fictional film Six Months in the Pink and Blue Building, by Mexican director Bruno Santamaría, unfolds and in which, through this biographical story, he manages to delve into the deepest secrets of his parents and unravel that memory.

“The story was born in the pandemic, with covid-19, since you couldn’t approach people to do interviews and make documentaries or learn more stories, I decided to interview my parents about what was not clear to me.

“My father was diagnosed with HIV when I was 10 years old and, from then on, there was a period of a lot of movement, of love, sweetness, parties, my parents tried to protect me and my brother from how terrible it could mean in the nineties, the death of my father, ”said the director in an interview.

After the detection, Bruno realized that rumors began to reach his house about the sexuality of his father, who left his job due to said illness. The comments, criticisms and opinions made Vladi, the boy the little boy was attracted to, move away from him.

“The film aims to show how prejudice and stigma were lived in that decade in relation to this disease. The stigma has been built since the 1980s and 1990s, there was a very strong one that today I am sure is much more painful what the accusation of society generates than the physical consequences that the virus can cause.

“It is a job that adds to what organizations that are dedicated to eradicating many of the stigmas that exist have done for years,” he said.

After a semester of anguish, the doctors notified Bruno’s father that they had made a mistake, that is, they gave him an incorrect diagnosis, however, his life, as well as the family union, were totally opposite to what they projected months ago.

With this project, Santamaría’s objective is to invite the public to eliminate existing taboos regarding HIV and AIDS, as well as to act as a support for those who live with this diagnosis alone.

“During the year that I was in the development of the story, a lot was research on what HIV has meant not only in Mexico in the nineties, but in the whole world. It is not only the issue of HIV but it is also religion, machismo, homophobia, too many things that are part of the same package that, for a child from the nineties who is exploring his sexual identity, it is difficult for him.

“Today, despite the fact that there is an apparent opening, that there is much more space and information, I am sure that it is still quite difficult for a boy or girl to recognize themselves, I hope that the film makes people feel more accompanied, it is a a process that is lived almost always in solitude and that a film exposes it makes it recognize itself and feel accompanied”, said the director.

At the moment, the film is in pre-production, casting is about to begin, filming is planned and, possibly, the premiere, in 2023.

Santamaría received support from the FONCA 2020-2021 young creators scholarship and his project will belong to the Europe-Latin America Co-Production Forum, in the 70th edition of the San Sebastian International Film Festival.

The Mexican has stood out for his work as a director and cinematographer for films such as Margarita (2016) and Cosas que no haces (2020), the latter nominated for last year’s Ariel Award in the Best Documentary Feature Film and Best Editing categories.