ESTOY PRESENTE // I Am Present (2016)
Director and editor.
Screenings: Roxie December Mixtape (2016); Cine+Mas SF Latino Film Festival (2017); my gaze // yr gaze: a queer film series (2017); Bernal Heights Outdoor Cinema (2019).
An essay film and performance piece exploring the intersectionality and isolation felt from identifying as a queer Latinx male.
In its existing incarnation, ESTOY PRESENTE // I Am Present almost didn't happen! Originally envisioned as a short narrative piece, several drafts of a script I wrote featured Xochipilli (the Aztec patron deity of homosexuals, as featured in the final film) waking up in the modern day and searching for "the last gay Latino" living in San Francisco. However, I abandoned the concept when the script overcomplicated and lost sight of the core themes I was pursuing: colonialism, marginality, and queer life.
Inspired by the 'spictacle' work of the Bay Area-based performance artist Xandra Ibarra, famously known as La Chica Boom, I decided that the film would be a performance piece. The character of Xochipilli would be portrayed by Martin, while I would portray the faceless specter of colonialism. An overhead Tungsten light would give it a saturated, stage performance look; additionally, shots of the stainless steel tray with grooming tools would give one the feeling that a type of dissection was occurring.