We had the good fortune of connecting with Camilo Diaz and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Camilo, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I began the production of my first feature film, Decadent Love, along with my producing partner, Aidan Guthrie. The film started very small and quickly blossomed into something bigger. Due to delays caused by the current pandemic, we decided to establish a production company to handle the growing project. So Aidan and I began a long series of talks where we deciphered what the company would look like. Some of these were basic business questions, but it also inspired us to consider what kinds of films we’d produce. What are the films that speak to us? What kind of films do audiences want to be challenged by? What is the type of film that only we could create? These conversations were explorational and meticulous. Like the night we sat in the cold and refused to go inside until we came up with a name. Over five hours in, I leaned back, exhausted, looked up to the sky, and blurted out the word, “CineAstra.” Aidan immediately knew it was the one, but asked what it meant. And I said, “I don’t know, I like stars.” However we soon came to find its significance. With CineAstra, we not only aspire to create a production company, but a unique brand of film that will challenge audiences. We believe is not enough to follow convention, but that we need to take risks and explore new frontiers. Our mission is to tell stories that haven’t been told and to help our fellow filmmakers, businesses, and movements do the same.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Making a film is an endeavor. The time it consumes, the care you have to give to each frame, the constant collaboration with other artists, all has to come together in unity to create that story that you might have come up with at the time you were eating an ice cream alone or walking at the park with a loved one. It is the image that sparks a fire, that keeps coming back and you try to find its meaning, what happened before and what happens after it. You question why you are making the film. Is it for the ego or because that image you see speaks to you in a language that you must translate and understand forcing you to think like your film does. That is why when I get an idea, I become a slave to the idea, you can’t force it, instead meditate on it, and suddenly you get more sparks. Eventually, you have to write down the ideas into the script, but to me the script is just a blueprint, malleable, that is why you have the most fun on set, seeing the characters come alive by very talented actors places you in a fantastical sandbox. I can go on about my process, but to continue answering the question, my time in filmmaking has never been easy, but it is something that I welcome. What else can motivate you, but a challenge. It is already difficult to start a film and once you do, roadblocks keep coming up, but in film you must have the mentality that anything can go wrong at any time, once you have that, any problem that comes, you give it a quick solution and keep going. This has being my biggest lesson along with patience. Patience, Patience, and more Patience, if you are patient, I promise you, your work will pay off. Because of it, it took one of my shorts about two years before it got placed on a new Streaming Service in Atlanta, go watch Spin the Bottle at Roll Call watch! And then one of the highlights in my career when I got accepted into Sundance Film Institute’s Writer’s Workshop right here in Georgia. And now that I think about, coming to the United States from Colombia, maybe one of the best exercises in patience. I’m really excited for the future, and now with my production company, CineAstra, I can have a home for my films and the films of other artists.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Perhaps a ride on Marta to get around the city, then some coffee at Cafe Intermezzo, and I must say, end the day by watching a film at the Plaza Theater. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
It takes a village to raise a filmmaker. Because I do not want to leave anyone out, if you are reading this and have come across me in the making of any of my films, just know that this shout out is for you. From my family and friends, to my professors at Georgia State University, the great support from Kodak Film Lab Atlanta, Sundance Film Institute and co-workers at both ARRI Rental and Georgia Film Academy, each of you teach me every day. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Website: cineastra.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/camilocineastra/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/camilocineastra
Other: Watch Spin the Bottle! – https://watch.rolecall.co/programs/spin-the-bottle https://www.imdb.com/name/nm5129470/

Image Credits
Noah Clement, © 2019 Sundance Institute | Photo by Maryann Bates

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