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Production Journal

Juan Carlos Zaldívar talks about some of the rewards and challenges of making a personal film.

POV: 90 Miles is your first personal film. Talk to us about what was rewarding and what was challenging in setting out to tell a story about yourself and your family.

Juan Carlos Zaldívar: The rewards that have come from making "90 Miles" have been many. I have been able to grow closer to my father. I have come to a new understanding of my relationship with both Cuba and life in Miami, and of how I can contribute to both by doing what I do. I have had the satisfaction of enabling public conversations about issues that are important to our community. I have preserved our family history and, hopefully, will be able to inspire many other stories to be told that would otherwise have taken longer to come to light.

The challenges have been many as well. I had no idea of the emotional weight that making the film would place on me. I have had to confront many personal issues and find a way to balance them within the creative process and the technical aspects of making a film that would be engaging to others. It has been difficult to finance these efforts when our purpose was exactly not to take sides in a volatile polemic. And it has taken far longer than I expected to find a national platform for these issues.

As you can see, the rewards outweigh the challenges of this venture and I encourage any of you out there who are waiting for your story to be told, to learn the craft, grab a video camera and add your story to the valuable fabric of personal documentaries.





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