Interview with Filmmaker Luis Moro at the HBO NYC Latino Film Festival July 26
Independent filmmaker Luis Moro is one of those eccentric, rare personalities that will elicit emotion out of you upon first meeting him. Praise and controversy over his film, Love & Suicide has skyrocketed this 6’1’ dark, handsome Cuban actor/writer into indie stardom. His character Alberto in the film was seamless, with such a carefree attitude one wonders if he knew the camera was on him. “There’s a lot of me in Alberto”, said Moro during a recent screening at the HBO New York Latin Film Festival. Three hundred people packed the theatre and gave the film a standing ovation. The audience laughed and were moved to tears. Alberto’s character is optimistic, persistent and consistently draws laughs. He lives life with a purpose…he has that peace within. Audience members commented after seeing Love & Suicide that Moro’s performance was the all out hit of the film.
Luis Moro, was born in Cuba and raised between Union City, NJ and Washington Heights, NY, he graduated from Rutgers University where he studied acting while lettering in Football. He came to the US when he was five via Mexico, after his mother escaped from Cuba. “I was a double immigrant, smuggled in and out of two countries.” His boyish charm is contrasted by his exuberant personality. One cannot help but be intrigued by his no nonsense approach to life, but again one contrast after another has led him to an insatiable humor that never quits.
He is tireless, he says, because he loves what he does. You can see that by his welcoming attitude to over 100 fans that stood in line to meet him after the New York screening last week. He has received numerous nods of approval from critics and audiences alike who flock to art houses and festivals to see this indie hit, Love & Suicide, a story of a man (Kamar de los Reyes) who goes to Cuba and discovers the one thing between love and suicide. “This movie is a dream come true for me. As far back as I can remember I wanted to make a movie in Cuba,” he reflected. “I didn’t know I was going to make history, but I did know I wanted the world to see Cuba.”
History is what Luis Moro made when he became the first American filmmaker to shoot a feature length film in Cuba in 46 years. His fearless pursuit of freedom and his constitutional rights has kept Luis Moro on top. His bank ability has been a welcome result to hard work, making five indie films back to back. Industry insiders are paying attention to Luis, and offers are starting to come in for work with people he has only dreamed of working with. “This is a true Hollywood story,” said a young Latina standing in line. “He literally started as an extra, and look where he is now,” touted her girlfriend.
Sitting at the Four Seasons in New York, his presence alone is distinct. People take a second and third look, or simply stare. Either he just has this presence about him, or maybe his laugh, more of a guffaw, can quiet a room for a second. People are just drawn to him. From the parking attendant that he befriended with one line in Spanish that had this guy laughing probably for the first time that day, to the young hostess, that Luis has giggling.
“My wife, Barbara, really believes in me and has been my biggest supporter, as well as representing me for now,” he stated. “She really has my back.” They have five children to support on an indie salary. They both have already done the hard work, especially now that AMC Theatres has committed to screen Love & Suicide. They will open the film in the heart of Miami August 11th.
“The thing about him is he charms kids as well as 80 year old’s, and everyone in between. I don’t know anyone else like him,” his wife Barbara said over the phone from their home in Los Angeles. “He likes to really relate to people, it’s like a passion,” she says.
“Know your Moro” his website proudly says. That is a bold statement, but coming from a bold visionary you can’t help but laugh, because if you know your Moro, you will be laughing too.
Written by Marc Justice, Freelance writer
For more info on Luis Moro check www.EverythingCuba.com
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