Director BIO:  Mar Novo (MAR I ANA)

Mar Novo was born in Guadalajara, Mexico but lived, studied and worked in Los Angeles since 2012. She is a film Director and Producer, nevertheless her experience in TV series and music videos has made her grown in the industry.

Director Statement

MAR I ANA is a love story in ruins. Their fate is tragic because the two parties, Mar and Ana, are unable to say what they feel. Mar lives accepting her sexuality (she is openly lesbian), but she is unable to say “I love you” to Ana, the person she wants to be with. And Ana cannot tell the world that she is a lesbian, (she prefers to hide it) although she can tell Mar that she loves her in secret. The two live repressed. Far away. They wish they were close, but they stop themselves. They are different, but at the same time, one is the reflection of the other.

The short film is shot only with steadicam, so that the viewer feels part of the story and goes through the journey with Mar and Ana as if they were there. The transitions to the flashbacks will be made with the same movements of the characters and the camera. So, the story will happen in the same place in the present and in the past.

The color and lighting palette plays a very important role within it, since the PRESENT will be illuminated with natural light (sunlight), desaturated and with a film look alike. Transmitting what happens to the characters in the present, that distance and nostalgia of not being together.
On the contrary, in flashbacks: the PAST will be illuminated by artificial light, mainly playing with red and blue, saturated and high-contrast lighting; with the aim of transmitting to the audience the passion, sexuality and intensity of what they experience.

The location is a delight, since it is one more character in the story: what Mar and Ana feel inside them. The location is her present in ruins focused on a tragic future and the memory of her past discovering her sexuality, being free, and living in the here and now.
Filming in abandoned ruins in the middle of the forest gives the feeling of being on another planet; the planet that only Mar and Ana know about.

Each element in this story is a character, it is a symbol, it is part of the sub-text, the text and it has a reason of being.
Starting with the title of the film – MAR I ANA: In Spanish you can phonetically hear Mar and Ana, which by definition are two women. In English it would mean Mar I Ana, which also makes it very controversial. Using the letter “I”, aesthetically makes it a division and at the same time a mirage; faithful representation of what the characters are. They are so identical, that they seem like 1 (oneself) and at the same time so different because of their mentality, their education, their family, society, religion and their fears. After all, they are people as fragile and full of insecurities and mistakes as all human beings are.
Mar and Ana are that: Humans.

The sound design, as well as the image play that 50-50 that lands the whole film. The worlds of Mar and Ana will be divided in the same way: ANA-PRESENT-DAY & MAR-PAST-NIGHT. During the day we will listen to the present, what they are hearing as is: nature, the wind blowing through the leaves of the trees; causing a feeling of nostalgia, stillness, but at the same time freedom.
At night we will listen to the past, quite the opposite, a party/rave: eclectic characters, neon lights, techno music at full volume, noise, carefree, freedom, passion, which will be marked in the movements of the characters, thus motivating the camera movements.

One way of representing feelings, which as director I really enjoy, is through visual effects. There are feelings that we cannot explain in words. That’s when cinema becomes magical and honors the famous phrase “the magic of cinema”, since with images I will represent the deepest and most difficult pleasure to explain: Sexuality.
In this case, Mar’s first kiss, where she accepts her lesbianism with Pía, makes her mind fly to other worlds as if she were drugged. These kinds of things cannot be explained with words, but with sounds and images, which will be synchronized with the lighting, framing and blocking will make the whole world identify with that specific moment.

MAR (night) and ANA (day) are governed by a daylight dimmer in a world of false lighting. Society silences their thoughts and imposes a rule on them that it does not allow them to break. In other words, a mental prison.

I want to communicate to the world, after watching this movie, that even in the darkest moments you can find a light that will guide you to the end of the tunnel, that nothing is impossible to achieve. You don’t have to give up, you have to keep fighting.

MAR I ANA is made for those who stand up, for those who try again, for those who think they can, for those who need a hand, a word, and sometimes a pair of ears free of judgments. I think we all need to see the simplicity of life and love, and how important it is to value what we have because we don’t know when it will end or go away.


MAR I ANA happens in nature, in the 4 elements – MAR: water and air, ANA: fire and earth.
It is worth mentioning that Mar and Ana’s aesthetic is based on the painting “Las Dos Fridas” by our great Mexican artist, Frida Khalo. The title is a simple mirage of both that although they are two different women, at the same time it is the same one connected by the heart.

I want the world, after watching this movie, to understand that there are other forms of love. It is a moving story, full of hope that it will be an engaging and profound experience for the audience. The art of this film will create environments charged with various emotions, which will be accompanied by key musical themes, essential to give the necessary context to this narrative. Including musicians from all over the world. Art is universal, art belongs to everyone and for everyone. There are no limits, no borders.

The creative and technical team will be made up mostly of women. This movie is made to break the norm. Diversity and inclusion is our motto: MAR I ANA our inspiration.
This film is aimed to an audience between 17 and 35 years old, mostly women and LGBT people. Without excluding anyone who is experiencing situations related to love as a couple, self-acceptance, judgments, society, beliefs, all kinds of relationships, family and friendship.

I choose to direct this film, because it has been part of my daily life, because I think it is something that needs more exposure in the rawest way possible, without putting creativity and art aside; in order to educate and convey to people what is currently happening in society.
This movie is for those who dream and for those who love, this movie is for you!
MAR I ANA is based on a true story, mine.


By lgbttorontofilmfestival

Festival occurring twice a year. In Toronto in June. And in Los Angeles in September. Showcasing the best of LGBT Short Films and Screenplays from around the world.

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