One of Latin Horror’s initiatives is to spotlight young up-and-coming Latinx artists, especially those who hustle to create opportunities for themselves, for their art, and for their career. Here at Latin Horror, as experienced Latino American filmmakers, we understand the struggle to get our artistic vision to be seen and heard. Back in January, Latin Horror ran into two talented filmmakers from Brooklyn and the Bronx, Romeo Ortiz and Lani Martínez, which showed great promise with their award-nominated psychological thriller “DELIRIUM” (2018). You can read our review here and watch “Delirum” on YouTube. Now these two native New Yorkers are back with “WONDERLAND” The series.
On November 9th, 2019, these young filmmakers put on an event to showcase their new projects at the Ghetto Film School in the South Bronx. It was slated as the “Romeo Ortiz’s Wonderland The Series: Advance Screening.”
The show started off with the mini documentary “MESSY” featuring MESSY ARTS (Lani Martínez) which tells her honest experience and captures plenty of exciting moments of being selected to RAW ARTISTS (an acclaimed international arts organization and showcase). Check out the doc below.
Next is the music video “Breath You In” by Grace The Enemy, a Bronx-based metal band. A trio made of Nandanie (Vocals), Manny (Guitar/Songwriter) and Carl (Drums). The music video follows Nandanie after she wakes up in the middle of the forest and quickly finds herself on a fork in the road trying to figure a way out. It is interwoven with the classic band playing on a sound stage. The song itself is a high octane ride with lyrics that match the anxiety driven visuals, “Holding on to this dream we’ve made”.
The group follows a mantra of “pursuit to optimistically face (Grace) the darkness instincts within (the Enemy). With love, faith, and hope expressed through breakdowns, two steps, and dance.” The song is from their latest EP “Broken Dreams” and the video is directed and lensed by Romeo Ortiz. You can watch music video here:
The feature presentation is the first episode of “WONDERLAND”. The first entry of this fantasy thriller series features both Romeo Ortiz and Lani Martínez as actors. Which was quite surprising as they both delivered a good performance. The story follows the star, Lani as the character of Miranda, an artist that gradually breaks down to insanity because her paintings come to life. Lani’s portrayal of Miranda feels like what people may think or interpret of her own real life paintings. The role was a perfect fit for Martínez as she carries the entire episode.
Once again Romeo, as the director of photography, shows his skill as a visual story-teller through his use of the quadrant system in the film. It was like watching Mr. Robot. It was very cool to watch him explore technics to improve his craft. Here, Ortiz uses the quadrants and negative space to evoke the discomfort and disconnection that Miranda is experiencing in her life. For example, in the final shot he place Miranda on lower quadrant of the frame to put an emphasis of distress to support the actor’s performance. Over all Wonderland episode 1 is a good entry to the series as it captivates the audience with a haunting and bizarre story. I can’t wait to see where the story leads in it’s upcoming episodes.
The event was a great example of taking the reins of your own destiny, putting yourselves out there, and creating your a space for your own art and productions. It’s a great strategy for MAD Gothic Productions to build excitement for their brand.
“Wonderland“ Episode 1 premiers on December 27, 2019 at MAD Gothic Productions YouTube channel.
Check out the Wonderland trailer here:
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Instagram – @gracetheenemyband
Website – www.gracetheenemy.com
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Facebook – @messyloveart
Instagram – @messyloveart