Director Carlota Pereda “I am the mother of a young girl and I don’t like the world she’s going to have to grow up in”

We caught up with Carlota Pereda the director of the Oscar-qualified film Piggy to talk more about her work, bullying and body shaming.

Carlota Pereda’s body shaming film ‘Piggy’ achieves over fifty international film accolades including the high profile Goya Award

Cerdita (Piggy) shares the story of a teen who is bullied for her weight, this topical female-led drama has won more than 50 prestigious film awards and been selected for over 200 high profile film festivals. Among the awards was the Oscar-qualifying Best Live Action Shorts Film Award at the Goya’s (Academy of the Arts and Cinematographical Sciences of Spain). Alongside the award-winning female director Carlota Pereda, over sixty-five percent of the cast and crew are women.

Sara is an overweight teen that lives in the shadow of a clique of cool girls holidaying in her village. Not even her childhood friend, Claudia, defends her when she’s bullied at the local pool in front of an unknown man. Her clothes are stolen and Sara must get home wearing nothing but her bikini. The long walk home will mark the rest of her life.

Writer/director Carlota Pereda has spent her career working in television. She has been a screenwriter and script supervisor for series such as Periodistas and Motivos Personales, has directed series, Acacias 38, El secreto de Puente Viejo, LEX and Lalola and has worked as realizadora on series such as Los Hombres de Paco, Red Eagle, Luna, the Mystery of Calenda and B&b, de boca en boca, for which she got an Iris nomination. Her first short, Las Rubias (The Blondes) was selected in over 141 festivals worldwide. Carlota was selected to be part of the Focus CoPro at Cannes Film Festival and won the Pop Up Residency. There Will be Monsters is her upcoming short and third film.

This important film was produced by Luis Ángel Ramírez (IMVAL MADRID) (La 4a compañía) and Mario Madueño.

The stellar cast includes Laura Galán (Terry Gilliam’s The Man Who Killed Don Quixote), Elisabet Casanovas (Netflix’s Merli), and, Mireia Vilapuig (Snatch). The stunning cinematography was created by Rita Noriega A.C.E, the sound by Nacho Arenas and the film was edited by David Pelegrín (Money Heist” for Netflix).

Piggy has over 235 selections to date and has won 58 awards, including The Forqué and the Goya 2019. Just some of the wins include First Prize Madrid en Corto 2018M , Audience Award Brno Sixteen Short Film Competition. Best Actress – Laura Galán, Certamen de Cortometrajes Ciudad de Soria, Best National Short, Festival de Cine de Zaragoza – Cortos, Best European Independent Film, European Independent Film Festival – ECU – Cortos, Audience Award Best International Short Film, Anonimul Film Festival – shorts TELEMADRID/LA OTRA Award

What a brilliant film, congratulations. What enticed you to make a film about body image?

I am the mother of a young girl and I don’t like the world she’s going to have to grow up in.

What do you think society and women can learn from the film Piggy?

I don’t think film can change the world but it shows you a different point of view. Piggy will let them walk in Sara’s shoes.

What would you like audiences to take away from the film?

I want them to ask themselves why something so wrong feels so good.

Do you think social media plays a big part in creating body shaming in our society?

Absolutely. There’s no escape form bullying now.

Your lead actress is fantastic. Please tell us how you found her and why you wanted her for the role?

Laura Galán is fantastic indeed. It took me two years of casting. I did’t feel confortable with the idea of a young actress for the role. I didn’t want a young girl to go though the roughness of the shooting. I knew exactly how I wanted to film it and for that I needed a woman who was confident of herself, knew her worth, and who would be honest about what she was confortable doing or not. I didn’t want the experience to be traumatic.

I had seen Laura in a play and she was great but I had my concerns. She was 30 at the time of shooting, after all, and I had doubts she could play 16. But my producer, Luis Angel Ramírez from IMVAL MADRID saw her in a different play and urged me to interview her. We had coffee, I asked her to do me the last “look” and I knew she understood the character perfectly. And she had a blast filming it.

You have been selected for and won many high profile film festivals, please let us know when our readers can see the film next.

We have of few we can’t talk about yet, but you can see it at SCREAMFEST L.A., AESTHETICA FILM FEST (YORK, UK),FILM FEST GHENT, Sequence Short Film Festival Toulouse, France, Oaxaca Film Festival, Festival du Court Métrage Méditerranéen de Tanger 2019, Film Femmes Mediterranee 2019, DC SHORTS, Niagara Falls Film Festival 2019,

What is next for you?

I’m working on my first feature, based on “Piggy” and I’m about to release my third short film, “There will be monsters”.

Congratulations on your film being considered for an Oscar, what would a nomination mean for you?

Thank you! It would be a fantastic way to celebrate the work of our talented cast and crew and it would bring a wider audience to our film and our subject matter, bullying and how body shaming can ruin someone’s life.

As a female director are you drawn to projects with strong female leads and if so, why?

I want to make the stories I want to watch and I do want to see films that represent me and matter to me. Representation matters. I’m a bit tired of same old story over and over again. I want new stories, new voices, new points of view.

Cerdita-Teaser (Piggy) Short Film from Carlota Pereda on Vimeo.

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